Three matchless diadems are waiting for me!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)
It is beyond astonishment, that three matchless diadems are waiting for me!
1. John tells me of the Crown of Life. Revelation 2:10
That is, life at its strongest, its purest, its best. Life buoyant, elastic, unwearied. The griefless life, the sinless life, the deathless life — the life which is life indeed.
The old victory-wreaths faded quickly:
the roses entwined for the revelers,
the laurel of the conquering soldier,
the oak-leaves for the well-deserving citizen of his country,
the myrtle-sprays which were the bride's adorning,
the pine-shoots that garlanded the victor in the games.
But of the wreath which Christ has won for me, and which by and by He will place on my brow, I can say, "It will be mine through the ages of the ages!"
2. Peter predicts the Crown of Glory for me. 1 Peter 5:4
Perhaps the reference is to my own person. I shall be transfigured, as my Master was on the Holy Mount. I shall shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of my Father. Obscured and hidden graces, crude and half-developed virtues — will leap to new effulgence and splendor!
Or perhaps the allusion is to the dominion with which I shall be invested. I shall sit on my Lord's throne. That old kinghood over the world, which my first parents threw wantonly away so long ago, will be restored to me; and I shall reign forever and ever. I can but dimly conceive this Crown of Glory; but the prospect of it should make my heart burn with joy!
3. Paul prefers to think of the Crown of Righteousness. 2 Timothy 4:8
It is not enough that there should be overflowing life. It is not enough that there should be festal gladness and wide-extending rule.
I desire the cessation of iniquity.
I crave the possession of all holiness.
Here on earth, even after precious Blood has redeemed me, and the divine Spirit has made me His temple, I stumble and fall. But there I shall be stainless and spotless. There the banner of the Golden Prince floats from the highest turret, and His sovereignty penetrates to the inmost citadel. It is all as unspotted, as the gates of pearl and the foundations of precious stones. The Crown of Righteousness is the climax and culmination of my hopes!