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

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15

Amid the whisperings from the fronds of these desert Palms, we cannot be wrong in averring that there is one which has a music all its own—pre-eminently valued and cherished.

The consciousness even of human sympathy is most sacred, hallowed, and prized. In these dependent natures of ours, who, in the season of need has not longed for it: and when it comes, has not welcomed it like the presence of a ministering angel? Others working with us, feeling for us—sharing our toils, helping us to carry our burdens; entering into our hopes, our joys, our sorrows; to see the responsive tear glistening in the eye—all this is a mighty strengthener and sustainer amid the difficulties of checkered life. The martyr at the stake has been often nerved for endurance by the whisper of "Courage, brother!" from the fellow-victim at his side. How the Great Apostle in his Roman dungeon—when he was "such an one as Paul the aged" was cheered by the visits of congenial friends, such as Timothy and Onesiphorus! How touchingly does the illustrious captive invoke God's richest benediction on the latter and on his household, for "often refreshing him and not being ashamed of his chain." On the other hand, how sad those circumstances when deprived of all such support—when left to drift hopelessly away from human brotherhood, and to be like a stranded vessel on life's lonely, inhospitable shore!

If human sympathy be thus gladdening and grateful, what must be the pure—exalted—sinless—unselfish sympathy emanating from the Great Brother-Man—the Heavenly Palm-Tree in the midst of the earthly encampment—the sympathy of Jesus, the adorable High Priest of His Church?

"He was in all points tempted." His is a deep, yearning, real sympathy, arising out of His true and real humanity. He came not with an Angel-nature or an Angel-life. He was not, as many falsely picture Him, half Angel, half God—looking down on a fallen world from the far-distant heights of His heavenly throne. But He descended, and walked in the midst of it, pitching His tent among its families—"He took not on Him the nature of Angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham."

The Great Physician lived in the world's hospital. He did not write out His cures in His remote dwelling in the skies, refusing to come into personal contact with the patients. He walked its every ward. With His own hand He felt the fevered pulses; His own eyes gazed on the sufferer's tears. He stood not by the fiery furnace as a spectator, but there was One in it "like the Son of God." He thought our thoughts. He wept our tears.

Yes, we repeat, that Great Being now in heaven, unseen, invisible to mortal eye, so entered when on earth into the subtlest and tenderest sensibilities of our emotional frames, that the heart of His glorified humanity still thrills responsive to every pang in the souls of the people. "In all their afflictions He was afflicted." "He knows their frame," for He had that frame Himself. Every throb they feel, evokes a kindred pulsation in the bosom of the Prince of Sufferers: "for He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one" (nature). Though changed in His outward estate from the Pilgrim Redeemer to that of the exalted Priest and King, His sympathetic feelings know no change, for He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

"His," it has been well said by a thinker of modern days, who struggled manfully upwards from skeptic doubt to embrace the truth as it is in Jesus, "His is a sympathy like that of a parent for a child, which is surely the deeper and the tenderer for being above the sphere of its little passions and mistakes. Whose sympathy with a child is best and truest? that of another child who has all the same follies and errors and petty interests and cares, or that of a mother, who knows them all, but does not on her own behalf share in them; who lives in them, and feels for them only through her love?" Such is the sympathy of Jesus.

There are times when the blessed shade of this Palm is specially needed. There are crisis-hours in our lives when we require, in no ordinary way, strong support: when, like Jacob at Bethel, or John at Patmos, we are all alone in a desolate place—the sun of our earthly happiness set: beloved earthly friends vanished and gone. Then, when we may be giving vent to the vain, hopeless wail of our smitten hearts, "Joseph is not and Simeon is not," the despairing cry for support is answered, although not in the sense perhaps we desired or longed for. The Savior Himself delights to come, showing us the ladder which connects the pillow of stones and the weary sleeper, with the heights of heaven. Or, as in the case of the lonely exile of the Aegean sea, raising us from our prostrate condition, as He lays His right hand upon us, and whispers in our ears His own gentle accents of reassuring peace—"Fear not! I AM" (in My unchanging human sympathy as the Elder Brother) "I am He who lives and was dead!"

"Then One, more fair than all the rest to see,
One to whom all the others bowed the knee,
Came to me gently, as I trembling lay,
And, 'Follow Me!' He said, 'This is the way.'

"At length to Him I raised my saddened heart;
He knew its sorrows, bid its doubts depart.
'Don't be afraid,' He said, 'but trust in Me,
My perfect love shall now be shown to thee.'

"And now henceforth my one desire shall be,
That He who knows me best should choose for me;
And so, whatever His love sees good to send,
I'll trust it's best, because He knows the end."

"The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary."

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