"On his head were many crowns."

Rev. 19:12.

There in heaven, for now eighteen hundred years and more, it is blessed to think of the Lord as finding His own delight and joy in caring for that Church whom He has so loved and purchased. (Eph. 5:26-27.) And here, travelling along the sands of the desert, often stumbling and sometimes weary, how blessed to think of the Holy Ghost never weary of directing her eye to Him, the One there for her in all the exercises of the way! And think, this has all continued now for more than eighteen centuries, and many a pilgrim has proved it all, and been cheered along his path by knowing it; yet there it is in all its truth for you and for me this day, Christ's present love and care, and the Holy Ghost's present ministry, cheering your heart by bringing Him before you. Is the Lord weary of what has been His occupation for eighteen hundred years? or is the Holy Ghost weary of directing the eye upward to Christ? Oh, to rise now above the gloom that has all along been deepening, and to see that blessed One there, and still to be able to say as part of His bride, "He is waiting for me!"

And now in this passage which we have read He is coming forth from that place and service of eighteen hundred years, coming forth to reign on the earth with His bride. HE has prepared her for Himself, and His wife "hath made herself ready." And what is the language before us here? How the Holy Ghost delights, as freshly as if for the first time, in drawing our attention to Him. "On HIS HEAD were many crowns." He who first directed her eye to Him as caring for her all along while she trod the desert, now also draws her attention afresh to Him in the day of His glory! How your heart and mine, thus called upon, delight to respond that all this is as it should be. How personal is all this to the soul; and how true it is that true affection is always personal! He wants me to be engaged with Him, and He wants my heart to be now just simply His own, to fill it by and from Himself.

"On His head were many crowns." Will you not respond, "Lord, thou art worthy of them all"?

But what do you see in those "many crowns"? To me they have a voice which speaks to my heart. If I see a Christian, I see one stumbling along in the desert, desiring, if ever so feebly, that Christ may be seen in his walk and ways here below. Because the Holy Ghost dwells in him there must be this desire, more or less, according as we give that blessed Spirit His place, and for which He is here; namely, to be the guiding star of our earthly life. And what does He bring out in you? Lowliness? patience? meekness? long-suffering? temperance? goodness? Yes, there are all these toward others, and there is what is more for your own personal enjoyment too - "Love, joy, peace." (Gal. 5:22-23.) Has He brought these things out of us toward others, and to us for our own enjoyment, in any little measure today? Alas! how we all fail in this, the "lowliness." How have they seen it in me today? The "patience," the "meekness," the "long-suffering," the "temperance," the "goodness" - all perfectly displayed in HIM as He once trod the path in which I am called now for a little while, only "a little while," to tread. (Heb. 10:37.)

Blessed Lord, the only perfect display of the perfection of a man, dependent on God, was seen in Thee, and this is what reaches the heart and touches our affections. On Thy head alone can we place the crown as to each of these, "lowliness," "patience," "meekness," "longsuffering," "temperance," "goodness." Has many a poor saint in his trials displayed some measure of these? Yes; and yet Thou excellest them all. And coming forth in that day of glory, how will our hearts delight to see Him wearing these many crowns, His desert as man, besides all those that are His by title as the gift of the Father! For "He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:33.)

Crowns befitting Him as "Lord of lords, and King of kings" will then alone be His, and I shall be called on to behold Him arrayed in them all on that day. But when I think of Him as the lowly Man, walking down here in the midst of all the trials and difficulties that marked His path (and now mine), and see the perfect display of all the graces that surrounded that path, I am humbled at how little they are seen in me, one who has professed to have set out to follow Him in the same path! But we can gaze at one perfect model, poor as we are, and think of His meekness, lowliness, patience, temperance, long-suffering, and His goodness when on earth, and thus we shall become less selfish and more like Him, of whom the Holy Ghost delights to say, "On His head were many crowns." Think of that day you who suffer in this.

May our hearts be more and more set, in the midst of whatever path we may be in - blessed it always is (Psalm 16:6), painful it may be - to desire to provoke in one another the display of these things that characterized our blessed Lord as He walked here among men. H. C. Anstey.