Wherever the Lord gives grace, he in and with that grace gives glory. We, therefore, read, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Thus he has already made them, even while on earth, partakers of his glory; and this by making them partakers of his grace; for as in the bud is the bloom, and in the bloom the fruit, so in budding grace is blooming glory—grace being but glory begun, and glory being but grace finished.
But what is "glory?" Viewed as future, in its full consummation, it is to be with Jesus in realms of eternal bliss, where tears are wiped from off all faces; it is to see him as he is; to be conformed to his glorious likeness; to be delivered from all sin and sorrow; to be perfectly free from all temptations, trials, burdens, and exercises, and to dwell for ever in that happy land, "the inhabitants of which shall not say, I am sick;" where a weary body, a burdened conscience, a troubled heart, a faint and weary mind, are utterly and for ever unknown.
In a word, it is to have a glorified body re-united to a glorified soul, and for both to be as full of happiness and holiness, bliss and blessedness, as an immortal spirit can hold, and an immortal frame can endure, drinking in to the full, with unutterable satisfaction but without satiety, the pleasures that are at God's right hand for evermore. But no human heart can conceive, nor human tongue unfold in what the nature and fulness of this glory consist; for "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Yet all this glory will the Lord give to those upon whom he has already bestowed his grace. He gives them grace now, to bring them through this wilderness world, this vale of tears, this scene of temptation, sin, and sorrow; and when he lands them on that happy shore, he gives them there the fulness of his glory. Then will be fully accomplished the Redeemer's prayer and will: "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).
Their right and title to the enjoyment of this predestinated inheritance are securely lodged in the hands of their covenant Head; and he living at God's right hand to save them to the uttermost, all their temptations, enemies, sins, and sorrows can never hinder them from reaching the shore on which God has decreed they shall safely land. Satan may spread a thousand snares to entangle their feet; not a day or scarcely an hour may pass that they are not burdened with indwelling sin; a myriad of lusts may start up in arms from the depths of their carnal mind; and many a pang of guilt and thrill of despair may seem at times wholly to cut them off from eternal life.
But yet, where the Lord has given grace he will give glory; for when he gives grace with the left hand, he gives glory with the right; yea, we may say that with both hands he gives at once both grace and glory; for as grace and glory flow out of the same loving heart, and are given by the same loving God, they may be said to be given by both hands at one and the same time. A portion or foretaste of this glory is given on earth in every discovery of the glory of Christ; as the Lord speaks, "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them"—already given them; and this he did when "he manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him" (John 17:22; 2:11).