For example, when you stumble, then is the season for the fruit of repentance; see, then, whether it hangs on the tree. When the conscience rages, then is the season when the fruit of longing after the blood of the Sacrifice must show itself; observe whether it appears. When a child of God suffers need, then must the sweet grapes of love redden to ripeness. When you are cast among the children of this world, then a certain sense of discomfort, a not-at-home feeling, a certain homesickness, is the fruit which ought to be found; according to the saying: "In the world ye shall have tribulation," etc.
He, then, who observes that the tree of his inner man sends forth such heavenly fruits, each in its season, let him not be uneasy that they are not all at all times there; but rejoice, and say, to the honor of Christ: "Christ is here." It is true that Christ may often retire so far into the depths of the soul, that scarcely a trace of His existence there can be perceived; but if He is there once, He is there forever. If a regenerate person should again become a natural man, another regeneration by God's Almighty power would be necessary; but to think such a thing possible would be nonsense. But no Christian has ever so fallen away as that a time never comes, when the leafless tree again puts forth its fruit, and when one could say: "Christ is here." A storm often restores an apparently dead tree to all the lovely bloom of spring. And even should it last until death in this state of decay and saplessness, when this general alarm is sounded, the old soldiers will certainly place themselves in rank and order; and, like young heroes, march joyfully to Jerusalem under the good old banner of the Lamb.
A Glimpse of the Kingdom of Grace