"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—

"He loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Travelers tell us that it is those palm trees whose stems have been broken by the sweep of the tempest which are generally seen to shoot forth the largest and most sheltering branches. The "corn of wheat" in the divine parable, by falling into the ground and dying, brought forth "much fruit." So is it from the death of Jesus that the new and glorious life of God's people is derived—"I came that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Reader, are you able fully to accept and appropriate this sublime truth? to view it, not as a beautiful figure, a typical fiction, but as a sober reality. "He loved me, and gave Himself FOR me;" that He surrendered His life's blood, in order to have the right to say, as He beckons under the shelter of the Elim palm-grove, "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest."

In obeying the gracious invitation, rejoice, too, that the negotiation is completed, the Substitute has been provided, the ransom has been paid. It is not a matter which now remains in suspense and unaccomplished. Many on earth have noble and lofty intentions which have never been fulfilled. Many a high enterprise has been thought of; but the enthusiasm wears past, the opportunity is lost, or the resolve is strangled at the birth. Not so this Great Salvation. What Christ undertook He has performed. He does not utter the unavailing soliloquy and lament in His heavenly palace, over an apostate world, which David did on the occasion of the death of his ruined child, "Would God I had died for you." He has died; He has fulfilled His covenant-pledge as our Surety. Our mortgaged inheritance has been recovered. The prophetic words have become now the utterance of an historic fact—He HAS seen of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied!

Well do we know that this doctrine is in these modern times disliked by many; by not a few rejected. Many prefer coming with Cain's bloodless offerings of thanksgiving (the deist sacrifice) rather than, like Abel, bringing the bleating victim from his fold. They are willing to behold Christ the Son; not Christ the "Lamb of God." They build the temple while they disown the altar. But it is not the philosophic divinity which consists in the glorification of mere virtue—it is not eliminating these peculiar doctrines of the cross, and substituting cold negations—that will pacify conscience. The most familiar of lines embody, in simple language, the only Scripture creed—the only accepted and acceptable 'Song of the pardoned'—

"When from the dust of death I rise
To take my mansion in the skies,
This all my hope, this all my plea,
That Jesus lived and died for me."

Let that which will form your only stable and satisfying trust then, be the ground of your hope and confidence now. Accept Him, unhesitatingly, as your Surety-Savior, "the end of the law for righteousness." "Jacob," says old Thomas Brooks, "got the blessing in the garment of his elder brother, so in the garment of Christ's righteousness, who is our Elder Brother, we obtain the blessing, yes, all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ." See how He has "blotted out the handwriting that was against you, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to His cross!" See how God, the injured Creditor, has cancelled your obligations! Never again, in point of law, can your multitude of sins appear—they are obliterated forever. "I will forgive," says He (what man often does not), "your wickedness and will remember your sins no more" (Heb. 3:12). Let the mightiest angel in heaven be delegated to go in quest of these pardoned sins! Let him roam creation! Let him search every corner of the earth, and every cavern of the ocean. He will come back from the mission with the tidings—"Search will be made for Israel's guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found." He is faithful who promised—"I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist" (Isa. 44:22).

We may appropriately conclude with the simple words of an old hymn-writer of the Fatherland (Angelus, 1657)—
"Thou Holiest Love! whom most I prize,
Who are my longed-for, only bliss,
Who left the glory of the skies
To tread earth's desert wilderness—
Who once did suffer in my stead,
To cancel debt I could not pay:
Whose blood upon the cross was shed
To take the world's great guilt away—
I give Thee thanks that Thou didst die
To win eternal life for me;
Oh bring that great salvation nigh,
And draw me up in love to Thee!"

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

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