Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.
We must all feel that to "have," and then to "lose," is worse than never to have had. For a man is to be responsible — not according to what he is to be found having at the last, but according to what he once possessed and the capability that possession gave him of possessing much more. But then you must remember what is the Bible sense of that word to "have." To "have" is to "hold" anything that so you can and do use and enjoy it. First, then, there are stores of memory. It is no trifling possession to have passages of Scripture, of sacred poetry, of holy authors, laid up in the mind. Increase the power of a sacred memory by always adding something more to the stock. And never forget that it is one of the offices and prerogatives of the Holy Ghost to assist and to empower the memory in Divine things. Secondly, the acquisition of a new truth, or a clearer perception of any truth, is a very real and very delightful possession. But, if you would "hold" a truth "fast" you must turn that truth to some practical account, for God is very jealous that His truth be not an idle thing; you must make that truth a centre, round which you are always gathering another and another truth. Then you must live that truth inwardly; and then you must live that truth outwardly. You must live it, not only for yourself; but you must live it for others. You must glorify God in it. And that truth will abide; and that truth will grow. Thirdly, you have enjoyed the things of God, the means of grace. You must be coming down from your mount to the plain — to the simple duty of daily life, to do that duty better because you have been upon the mount. Fourthly, a soft, tender heart — feelings much drawn out in strong love to God or man — is a thing greatly to be prized. But to maintain that blessed state of a mental affection, it is necessary that you live very close to God. The wax will only be soft if it is kept in the sunshine. Fifthly, an open door of usefulness is an exceeding boon when God gives it to a man. Have you it? Sixthly, to some of you it has been given to know, and not to doubt, that you can call Christ yours. And can all this pass away? Yes, it can. If that light go out, how great will that darkness be! It all depends upon the firmness and the continuance with which you hold it. Therefore, spend life in "making your calling and election sure." Do not grieve, by small resistances, that Holy Ghost which is in you. The only way to "hold fast," is to be "held fast." Under our weak hand, God's own omnipotence must lie; and we must be apprehended, that we may apprehend.
(James Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.