« PreviousContinue »
REST AT HOME.
et dowel het, after hochwered our daughter on the believes has
There, too, will be rest from the strife of the Christian warfare. Every true Christian has to struggle against focs, within and without. Within, an evil heart and manifold corruptions, which caused an apostle to exclaim, “ O wretched man that I am !” Without, wicked spirits and the world's ensnaring power. But in the believer's heavenly home no such conflicts will be endured. No corruption will grieve within ; no tempter war without. No doubts, no fears, will disturb the calm that never will be broken. They will have ceased to trouble, and never will trouble again. There indeed is rest at home; for into that home sin can never enter, and sorrow can never intrude. Reader, will it be yours? Those who have a title to it are delivered by God from the “power of darkness," and are “translated into the kingdom of his dear Son;" they “have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins," and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, and are thus made “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," Col. i. 12—14.
Home is the place where dwell the friends who are most dear to our hearts. Christian benevolence would bless the world; Christian friendship regards with strong affection many that never dwelt under the same roof or sat at the same table with us; but what, after all, are these more distant friends to the father and mother who cheered our home in childhood ? or to the husband, or wife, or sister, or daughter, who cheers it in our riper years? In their society and affection there is rest at home; but dear as are such beloved friends, the believer has dearer and better friends “ in the realms beyond the grave.” A servant of God contemplating his eternal abode, said, “ Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee," Psa. lxxiii. 25. All who are travellers to the heavenly home partake of similar feelings. They love the Lord God; love God, because he first loved them, 1 John iv. 19; prefer him to all besides, and find in his favour peace and joy. “ Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; thou art my God, I will exalt thee,” Psa. cxviii. 28. “ This God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death,” Psa. xlviii. 14. The blessed Jesus, "God manifest in the flesh,” is to the righteous the object of supreme affection, and is loved more than father or mother, or son or daughter, or life itself, Matt. x. 37, 38. Friends, home, liberty, and life, are dear; but Christ is more dear, and all who are his “ count all things loss” that they may win Christ, Phil. iii. 8. He promises each of them, “ Where I am, there shall also my servant be,” John xii. 2. They will enter the joy of their Lord; see the King in his beauty, whom they loved below, and find his home theirs; and surely with such a Friend, and in such a home, there will be rest.
Home is the place where dwell those to whom we are most
dear: a loving parent, or an affectionate child, a tender husband, or i devoted wifc. In such a home, with friends so dear, there must be rest. But all the love of the best earthly friends siuks into nothingness when compared with the love of God. Behold bis love! He "gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," John iii. 16; Rom. v. 8. See the Son, offering the great sacrifice for sin: “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God;" “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree," 1 Pet. iii. 18; ii. 24. “ With his stripes we are healed," Isa. liii. 5. Not only did love cause him to suffer as the atoning Saviour, but he became the gracious Shepherd of the saved, and says, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,” Jolin x. 28. Then behold the Holy Spirit's work, enlightening every mind that is enlightened, changing every heart that is changed, and renewing all that become the heirs of salvation. How excellent must be that rest for whose bestowment on ruined man, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the
infinite and adorable God, employed such means; and lio:v I boundless must be the love that called them forth!
Blessed are they who, unlike the men of the world, that have their portion in this life, enjoy the sweet hope of rest at home, and that home the eternal world. This cheers in life and death. Let it cheer the troubled Christian. An everlasting home will soon recompense all the trials of the way. One year there would be an ample compensation for numerous years of trial and toil on earth; and what then must be the ceaseless bliss of eternity? In the prospect of it long years of heavy suffering will appear “light' affliction, which is but for a moment; " yet which "worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weiglit of glory," 2 Cor. iv. 17.
How earnest should be our desire to possess this lone! How sad is their state who have no home but a dungeon ; but more dismal is the sinner's state, who has no home hercafter but the prison of lost souls ! Man is a sinner, and crerlasting destruction is the unforgiven sinner's certain doon. But you need not perish. All you need the Lord Jesus is willing to bestow ; you need justification and a new heart, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved"-being “justified by his blood,” To them who come to him the promise belongs, “A new hieart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes." If ilius you enjoy the Savious grace, you may look cn death without alarm, and rejoice that for you there is "REST AT JOYF."
DON'T DESPAIR OF A CURE. SOME time ago the writer's attention was drawn to these words on a hand-bill, "Don't despair of a cure.” It was the advertisement of some medicine. Men labouring, it may have been, under consumption, were entreated, although they had tried every other remedy, although the doctors had given them over, although they were in the last stage of illness, by no means to despair till they had tried this sovereign cure.
The expression called up this thought: This is just what the gospel promises—just what the gospel does for poor perishing souls. It cures otherwise incurable cases. Yonder medicine, no doubt, is over-rated, and what is said of it very likely untrue. Not so the gospel of Christ. Who can over-rate it? It is an infallible remedy. This, this is the medicine sinners need. Whatever your spiritual disease, till you have tried the grace of Jesus, oh, don't despair of a cure.
Reader! kindly bear with us while we press this heavenly medicine on your attention. If you have not hitherto received it, a fatal disease, slowly or quickly, is working eternal death within your soul. Sin is your disease. Can it be that you do not know you are ill? Alas! this is a symptom of the plague of sin. All men by nature labour under it. It is a
withed; lest als are duled
deadly hereditary complaint, derived from our first father Adam ; a distemper that ever grows worse and worse, fretted and inflamed by our daily transgressions. It taints all men from their birth; for we read, “ By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” Rom. v. 12. Because you do not feel this disease, and suffer no sharp anguish from it, is no proof that you are free from it. In cases of mortification no pain is felt. And of some poor souls it is declared, “ This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed ; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them,” Matt. xii. 15. In this day of grace strive for a knowledge of your diseased state. Oh that the Holy Spirit may now convince you of sin! It is his work, John xvi. 7-9. A heart that is at enmity with God, Rom. viii. 7; that does not love Jesus, 1 Cor. xvi. 22; that has not experienced the grace of the Holy Spirit, Rom. viii. 9; that regards not the preaching of the cross, 1 Cor. i. 18; that indulges in sin, 1 John ii. 4, 9; that loves the friendship of the world, Jas. iv. 4; that trusts in its own good works, Gal. iii. 10-manifests the general symptoms of this awful disease. Perhaps you have scarcely thought these things wrong. Yet have these filled earth with misery, and hell with wailing. Oh that you may know the plague of your own heart! for Jesus Christ himself declares, “ They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick," Matt. ix. 12.
But it may be you have long felt your wretched condition, have groaned under a conscience ill at ease, and found all the boasted remedies of the world unavailing. Self-indulgence perhaps lulled you for a time, but you could not banish the startling cry, "Flee from the wrath' to come.” Riches filled your thoughts for a time; but they too, you found, were vanity and vexation of spirit, and the summons sent to the rich man, “ This night thy soul shall be required of thee,” confused and saddened your calculations. Fame and honour promised you relief for a season; you delighted in the goodwill of your neighbours; all men spoke well of you; but in your calmer moments of thought, those real hours of life, the truth of God's word would speak out, “Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish," Ps. xlix. 12. Your heart-ache was not touched. The cancer still corroded your soul; and you bethought yourself, “My life is withering under a strange unknown disease. My springs of health are drying up. I must adopt stronger measures.” So you betook yourself to some grave moral physician, who told you
DON'T DESPAIR OF A CURE.
diet, by carefully husbanding your strength, and by diligent daily exercise, you would soon recover the natural health of your constitution. Alas, you were miserably disappointed! Yours was no surface complaint, but a hidden deadly plague! It preyed upon your vitals. You were “ without strength” to follow his directions. You wanted not only new rules for life, but life itself,--new life. You needed some mighty medicine to grapple with your devouring disease. You asked, but you found not. Men had healed your hurt slightly, saying, “ Peace, peace; when there is no peace,” Jer. vi. 14. You were like that poor woman “ which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse," Mark v. 25, 26. Is this your state, unhappy friend ? Have others given you up? have you given yourself up? Yet, we pray you, don't despair of a cure.
There is one remedy you have not tried, sure and certain, close at hand, free to all. It was planned by the God who made you ; it was proclaimed by his only begotten Son; it is applied by the Almighty Spirit. God said to Israel of old, “ Thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous ;" and again, “ Thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity,” Jer. xxx. 12, 15. Could there be a more hopeless case? does it not resemble yours? Yet be comforted; for what with men is impossible, is possible with God; for, hark, the Lord continues, " I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord,” Jer. xxx. 17. Only come to Jesus, the good Physician: for he says, “ Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out." Tell him all your case; or, if words fail you, listen to him while he describes it in truer terms than you could find : “ The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint: from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment,” Isa. i. 5, 6. Is not this your condition? Answer truly, “ Yes, Lord, yes;" — for lo! he proceeds : “ The Lord hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," Luke iv. 18.
Does hope begin to spring up in your heart, and with eagerness do you ask, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?” Mark well this answer, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved," Isa. xlv. 22. The Israelites, when bitten by the fiery serpents, if they looked upon the serpent of brass, lived. So shall it be with you. For “ as Moses lifted up the serpent in the