“And that brings us back to the point from which we started. It is because we have this to lean upon that we dare aspire so high. It is only as we lean upon it that our calling to be God’s becomes credible, practicable, real. They are the two most wonderful things in the world, the most incredible to start with, the most humbling, the most uplifting, the most Divine—“beloved of God,” “called to be saints”. In the celebration of the Supper to-day we have been reassuring ourselves of the first. We have been taking the redeeming love of God to ourselves again in all its fulness, the love manifested in the passion of our Lord; shall we not take it also in its infinite obligation, in its infinite hope? For to be the people of God in the world is for those who are so called to it not only a duty but a hope. It is a thing to lift up our hearts to with humility, assurance, and joy. And when we are discouraged by the remembrance of what we have been or what we are, let us remember that it is not on this our calling rests; it rests on the solemn and wonderful truth that we are beloved of God. Underneath all our sinfulness and weakness, underneath our past, our present, and our future, lies a finished work of Christ, a great deep of love on which our wrecked and stranded lives can be floated into the assurance of hope, and filled with all the fulness of God. We cannot speak of these things as they should be spoken of. We cannot fix our hearts on all that is involved in them as they should be fixed. But as we think of how God loves us and of how He has shown His love—as we clasp these gracious words to our hearts and claim our inheritance in them: beloved of God, called to be saints—we can say, “Unto Him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by His blood, and made us a kingdom, even priests to His God and Father: to Him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen”

A Chosen Generation

James Denney, The Way Everlasting