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AFTERBURNER, AFTERGLOW, AFTERWARDS
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.
There comes a time when one must in flight use the after-burners, when opportunity or resolve demand no superficial concentration or means. Again, when the long trial is over, there comes a period when the glow becomes after-glow, the nectar savoured, the survey charged with more of the quietness of evening, though the recollections may be even more dramatic or vivid in some cases, than the originals! There is for the wedding, the afterwards, for the fixture the breakfast.
In this volume, topics may be considered in such ways as these, and the first is that of consciousness which, though given earlier attention, seems in the current milieu, to require more overall action in development and review; and this is here given. That Chapter is long, but more comprehensive, with things old and new.
Of what are we conscious ? and how do we enter into our own consciousness, to what does it point, and with what may it be adorned, or from what denuded ? Chapters 2 and 3 take two major fields here, the one in aspiration, inspiration and conviction, the latter in simplicity of outline and depth of divine challenge, before life, like a sparrow, flits away from those w ho have not valued it, and its portent. It is time to reflect.
In this volume, we move to spiritual growth and inspiration, of which the Christian is conscious, even if purified as time goes on, picked up when tripped, but inured with truth as a brother, yes as a master, for Christ IS the truth. We move thus in Philippians and soaring, into the Psalms with their depth, into the purity of obedience and its disciplines, and level and depth of evil wrought when the slippery slopes of spiritual sloth or confusion allow those bearing the name of Christ to bundle it together with plain rebellion, as if it did not count. Indeed, so vast is this fallen phenomenon of ill-conducted and calamitous cohesion with what is plainly at war with the mastery of the Messiah and the commandments of Christ, that some of the consequences are considered.
Far more enlivening and to be desired, is the vivid, vital and passionate love of God, of which human passion is but in much a pale shadow, His love not of but to this world and His reliability for those who seek Him, and in Christ find Him, a glory. In Him lies the conservation of the saved and the preservation of those who have made peace (John 10:9,27-28), in a personal wonder which makes the pretensions of godless politics, or idolatrous self-sufficient ones, the more horrid by contrast, as we consider it in the Epilogue.
Rejoice and be thankful, then, for if for a little while, the world is being grabbed for, by evil forces that know no bounds to their audacity or cruelty, knowing no god but their own inner darkness, whether or not it be inhabited by identifiable idols, yet for ever is the eternal life given by the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 5:24). Thus when the trials are over, the spiritual Olympics are past, all is tried and tested, then the Creator and Redeemer, who has shown not only His hand but His back to the strikers, Jesus Christ, has the issuance of all things (Colossians 1:12-17, 3:11, Revelation 5, Philippians 2:5-11, Ephesians 3:8-21). The tender are tended, the afflicted are soothed and at rest, the scope of salvation is revealed and what was seen dimly as in a glass, becomes that very prodigy of wonder of which the creation is but a foretaste (Romans 8:17ff.).
The after-glow touches us now, at times, in its refined and soon to be realised significance; and we rejoice in Him even in this life, as did Simeon (Luke 2:29-32). Then when the time is up, it will be as in Revelation 7:14ff. in its entry, with 7:11-17, and those preferring darkness stay just where they are (7:11), and the people of God who know and love His word, find there the consummations of Revelation 22:1-5. In Him and for Him we pardon all, long for the good of all and on Him we wait, recipients of pardon, citizens of the kingdom of heaven (Philippians 3:20-21), our very bodies, each one, to
"be conformed to His glorious body".
"according to that working through which He is able to subdue all things to Himself."
Blessed be God who makes the trials, is the truth and presents the peace freely, having obtained all (Hebrews 9:12, 10:10-14), done all and in His call, conferred all where His people come to Him (I Thessalonians 5:9-10), who desires all, saves some and has put His own gift before the giftless, His own grace before the graceless, His own pardon before pollution, and His own power to keep even the smoking flax, so that it flames.
A Review and an Analysis
Soaring is Never Boring
DIVINITY, DISASTER, MORDANT MOCKERY AND IMPERIAL COMPASSION
GUESSING, GROPING AND GOING
The Reality of Liberty and the Glory of Harmonious Truth
Closing with the Covenant of Christ
Creating Havoc without Him whose it is
REJECTING NOT MAN BUT GOD
I Thessalonians 4:3-8
THE RESULTS OF DISOBEDIENCE
THE FASHION OF DIVINE PASSION
Shown at the First, Consummated to the Last
EZEKIEL 18:19-31 and 33:1-11
Things Past, Present and in Prospect