"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose" Isaiah 28:12

"You are my portion, O Lord." Psalm 119:57

God is the only true and satisfying portion of the spirit—the realized happiness, for which earthly schools and systems of philosophy hopelessly searched. The soul, endowed with immortality, altogether fails to have its longings and aspirations satisfied with the seen and the temporal; as little as the Israelite, in the desert of the wandering, would have been satisfied with burning patches of unsheltered sand for his camping ground, as compared with the twelve refreshing springs of Elim with their seventy encircling palms. Too truthful and suggestive is the symbolic truth conveyed by a painter in an allegorical picture of human life—children in a churchyard, sporting with soap-bubbles by the side of an opened grave! The bubbles are beautiful—lustrous with rainbow tints; but, one by one, they burst, some in the air, others as they touch the fringing grass; the misty moisture of all falling into that dark hollow at their feet. The world's skeptic poet thus warbles in plaintive monotone—
"I fly like a bird of the air,
In search of a home to rest;
A balm for the sickness of care,
A bliss for a bosom unblest."

We repeat, the only rest of the soul is in God. You cannot detain the eagle in the forest. You may gather around him a chorus of choicest birds—you may give him a perch on the finest pine—you may charge winged messengers to bring him choicest dainties—but he will spurn them all. Spreading his lordly wings, and, with his eye on the Alpine cliff, he will soar away to his own ancestral halls among the munitions of rocks and the wild music of tempest and waterfall! The heart of man, in its eagle soarings, will rest with nothing short of the Rock of Ages. Its ancestral halls are the halls of Heaven. Its munitions of rocks are the attributes of God. The sweep of its majestic flight is Eternity! "Lord, YOU have been our dwelling-place in all generations!"

"Once," says a gifted American writer, "I looked across a landscape in a season of great drought, and all the elms looked sickly and yellow, as if verging to decay. But one elm was fresh and green, as if spring showers were hourly falling upon it. Coming nearer to observe, behold! a silent river flowed at the foot of the tree; and its roots stretched far out into its living waters. So is he, in the drought and heat of this earth, whose soul is rooted in God."

The world has its joys and its portions too, and we do not affirm that they are devoid of attractiveness. Had this been the case, they would not be so fondly and eagerly clung to as they are. But this we can affirm, that while they are certain, sooner or later to perish, they are fitful and inconstant even while they last. They are sand-built, not rock-built. They are, at best, but the passing gleam of the meteor; not like the Christian's happiness, the steady luster of the true constellation. On a deathbed, one memory of triumph over sin and of successfully-resisted temptation will outbid and outmatch them all. Yes, the joys of the true believer survive all others.

True Religion is like a castle on a mountain summit, catching the earliest sunbeam, and gilded by the last evening ray. When low down in the world's valleys, the shadows are falling and the lights are already in the windows, the radiance still tarries on these lofty peaks of gladness. That castle, moreover, is full of all kinds of furnishings. God has furnished it with every attractive blessing that can invite the weary wanderer in. He has crowded it with love-tokens, with which He may welcome back His long-absent children—just as a mother (to use again a recent illustration) decorates her room for the welcome of her absent boy. As every available nook is crowded with tokens of affection, so God has filled that castle with love-pledges. Its walls are tapestried with proofs and promises of His grace and love in Jesus.

And having found God in Christ, and Christ in God as our soul's all-sufficient portion, let us dread everything that would lead us away from Him, and forfeit the possession of the Divine favor and regard. It is the short but touching epitaph seen in the catacombs at Rome, and we can annex to it another meaning besides its reference to death—"In Christ, in peace". With Him as our covenant-possession we are independent of all others. "If He gives quietness (rest), who can make trouble?" It is a peace which the world, with all its riches, cannot give; and which the world, with all its sorrows and its trials, cannot take away. "In the world," says Jesus, "you shall have tribulation, but in Me you shall have peace."

Blessed Savior, to whom can I go but unto You? The wandering sheep may turn scornfully from its restoring shepherd; the eagle may cling to its ignoble cage, and despise its rocky fastnesses; the prodigal may mock a parent's pleas and recklessly cling to his foreign home and beggar's fare; the thirsty pilgrim may turn with averted head from the gushing stream; but You alone the unfailing Portion, You alone the unchanging Friend, let me never be guilty of the ingratitude of forgetting or forsaking You! "Many are asking, 'Who can show us any good?' Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O Lord."

"Let me Your power, Your beauty see,
So shall my vain aspirings cease,
And my free heart shall follow Thee
Through paths of everlasting peace.
My strength, Your gift, my life, Your care,
I shall forget to seek elsewhere
The joy to which my soul is heir."

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You."

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