The second picture of the one great parable sets forth the work of the Holy Spirit through the church. Man is a precious thing; he bears the image of God; but he is lost. The Spirit, by the church, seeks the lost treasure. The candle of truth is brought, and much trouble is taken by the preaching of the searching word to seek for the lost. Lost souls are found, and then the church is glad, and God himself, before whom angels stand, is full of rejoicing. Whatever we may do, he values the pieces minted in his own mint, and has no pleasure in their being lost. What comfort it ought to be to anxious souls when they learn that their salvation will give joy to the heart of him whom angels adore. One repenting sinner is more joy to God than a new-made world. Let us return to our loving Lord, and grieve him no more. Those who are once found by divine grace are saved, for the angels would not rejoice prematurely over one who might yet be lost. Heavenly joy is never rash; angels cannot be supposed to have rejoiced too soon. True penitents are saved, and therefore, before they enter heaven holy beings rejoice over them with unalloyed delight, expecting to see them ere long in glory.
To see a sinner saved,
Makes glad th’ angelic choir;
O’erwhelmed with mightier ecstasies
They lift their praises higher.
From every golden string
Sublimer praises sound,
The dead restored to life they sing,
The wandering sinner found—
Found, to be lost no more,
Alive, in life to stay,
And love, and wonder, and adore
Through one eternal day.