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

"Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Corinthians 1:24

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." Romans 1:16

In the sense of a great national deliverance, the Israelites at Elim had lately, as we have seen, been the spectators of "the power of God unto salvation." By Him "both the Egyptian chariot and horse had been cast into the sea," and He had "made a way through its depths for His ransomed ones to pass over."

Stupendous as that miracle was, there was one mightier far, of which the other was the emblem. Fifteen centuries after these liberated Hebrews were slumbering in their graves, the Gospel of Christ was made known as this supreme, incomparable spiritual 'power'—"the power of God" (or, omitting the article, which is not in the original, "power of God"—God's own instrumental means of saving men).

We have reason to be "ashamed" of what may be called the dominant world-power—the power of brute force—the monster-power of war—the power associated with Paganism and the savage ages. Let us confront the demon-power with the angel power—the power which has been earth's greatest curse, with the power which has proved earth's greatest blessing—the power of guilty man to destruction, with the power of Almighty God "unto salvation." Without that Gospel of Christ, the world would have had not one ray of light on the subject of salvation—either from the guilt or the dominion of sin.

Oratory, poetry, philosophy, taste, intellect, reason, were all baffled and confounded. Professing themselves on this great mystery to be wise, they became fools. Mankind had tried for ages and generations to solve the problem; but every oracle was dumb (silent) on the great question, "What must I do to be saved?" The Greek might discourse on the loveliness of nature—he might speak of the theology of mountains and groves and forests and rivers: and we have no wish to depreciate their testimony. Paul had none. He, surely, was feelingly alive to the glories of nature's scenery, who, on Mars Hill, could, to the Athenians, so sublimely discourse on "God who made the world and all things therein, who dwells not in temples" (such temples as these!—pointing up to their adjoining Parthenon), "made with hands" (Acts17:24); or to the Lystrians, as he spoke of "the living God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and everything in them; who gives rain from heaven, and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy" (Acts 14:15, 17).

But listen, you Greeks! Pile, if you will, mountain on mountain; ransack all the glories of material nature; bring every flower that blooms, and every torrent that sweeps in wild music to the sea; summon old ocean from his deep caverns, and the myriad stars that gem the firmament! They may, and do, silently and eloquently, speak on the theme of God's "eternal power and Godhead." But there is one theme on which "they have no speech nor language—their voice is not heard," and that is, How is God to deal with my sinful soul? With regard to this question, "You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep."

Is there, then, no answer elsewhere? Yes, where the volume of Nature fails, the volume of Inspiration interposes. The question is answered. The Gospel of Christ is "the power of God unto salvation;" or, as it is expressed in the kindred passage, "Christ crucified is the power of God!" He is the Power of God to atone for sin. He is the Power of God to satisfy justice, and meet the requirements of the law. He is the Power of God to rob death of its sting, and the grave of its victory. We hear much of the antiquated power of man. The Nile, the Euphrates, the Tiber are washing, to this hour, the colossal memorials of that power. Man's control, too, in these later days, over the elements, is a mighty thing; his making the winged lightning his ambassador, annihilating space, converting the world into a vast whispering gallery—tidings from battle-fields, or secrets in which the fate of empires and centuries are suspended, transmitted by a magic touch from capital to capital; the power of the steam-engine, too, like a fiery spirit, careering majestically over land and ocean.

But what is man's power when brought to bear on the soul, and the sinner, and eternity? A voice is heard saying of, and to, all human might—"Thus far shall you go, and no further: here let your proud waves be stayed." The world, we, repeat, had given it long eras to work out, if it could, the problem of its own self-salvation. But after these centuries of failure; after God had given man his own time and means to exhaust every effort to solve himself, He says—'Now, listen to My own Divine expedient: By lifting up My beloved Son on the cross, I intend to draw all men unto Me!' Verily here is a new power—"a new thing" on the earth. The world is to be conquered; society is to be remolded; time-honored religions are to be overthrown; Pantheons are to be subverted—yes, better than all, souls are to be saved, by the power of a silent transforming principle. "Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire."

Ah! there is no power—no influence that can unloose the fetters of fallen humanity like this! We are reminded of the maniac of old who dwelt among the tombs. No man could bind him. They had tried it; but he had burst their bonds like thread, and roamed that dark graveyard. At last he spied, on the white strand of Gennesaret, ONE of whom he had heard. It was Jesus! See that maniac now—sitting "clothed, and in his right mind." So with the soul still. There are many who, in the mad fever of their passions, have roamed for years amid the place of the dead, "crying and cutting themselves with stones." But the Divine Redeemer, in the glories of His person—in the completeness of His work—has stood before them. Unreclaimable, untamable, by all human means, they have taken a child's place at the foot of His cross; and there they now are sitting, with the peace of Heaven mirrored in their hearts—"the joy of the Lord their strength."

"See me, see me, once a rebel,
Prostrate at His cross I lie—
Cross, to tame earth's proudest able,
Who was e'er so proud as I?
He convinced me, He subdued me,
He chastised me, He renewed me;
The nails that pierced, the spear that slew Him,
Transfixed my heart, and bound me to Him.
See me! see me! once a rebel,
Prostrate at His cross I lie."

"Let us therefore, make every effort to enter that rest."

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