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

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand." John 10:28

So speaks the Divine Shepherd to the "sheep in the wilderness," as they rest under the shade of the Palm-trees, and by the Wells of living water.

It is a FREE gift. "I give." Believers have themselves no share in the purchase. Man, in bestowing his gifts, has generally reference to some loving or lovable qualities in the objects of his beneficence. But it was from no attractiveness on their part—no foreseen good works or virtues, that God was induced to procure and bequeath the priceless heritage. It is a generous bestowment of sovereign grace and redeeming love.

"I give"—it is theirs in unqualified, inalienable possession—a glorious freehold. The ransomed in the heavenly paradise are spoken of as having "a right to the tree of life." It is the right of the slave who has had his freedom purchased. It is the right of the son who has been left his patrimonial inheritance. It is the right of the conqueror dividing among his soldiers the honors and trophies of victory which his own valor has won.

And as it was the free sovereign love of the Great and Good Shepherd, the Son of the Highest, which led Him to pay the ransom-price; so it is His sovereign, irresistible grace which preserves His flock every hour from destruction, and will present each member of it at last faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Let us not lapse into a loose and indefinite theology, by speaking of the "inherent power of the new nature." That is nothing. It is a shadow—a name—apart from the power of Christ and the indwelling, upholding energy of the Spirit of God.

Why was Paul enabled to stand firm when the messenger from Satan was sent to buffet him? Why did not the thorn in the flesh get the better of his nobler self? It was because that free grace which had "predestinated" and "called" and "justified," was, in the hour of trial and temptation, made "sufficient for him"—God's strength "perfected in weakness," yes, overcoming weakness. Let us ever admire, with adoring wonder, this unmerited, undeserved, sovereign freeness, from first to last, of the great salvation.

Jesus is the true Zerubbabel, who has laid the foundation, and who also will finish it. Seek to trace His hand in each part of the spiritual building; beginning, carrying on, completing—the Alpha, the Omega; the Justifier, the Sanctifier, the Glorifier. "Thanks be to God," says the Apostle, "who always causes us to triumph in Christ." The pearl would remain forever in the depths of the ocean unless the diver descended for it; so, unless He who purchased us as gems and jewels for His crown had taken us from 'the depths,' there we would have remained forever. And as He rescues the pearl, so does He 'keep' it in safety, until He finally inserts it in His mediatorial crown.

As His is the glory of the commencing work and the sustaining work, so His is the glory of the crowning and consummating work. The branch cannot live severed from the vine. The limb cannot live severed from the body. The Christian lives only by virtue of "Christ his life." It is not our repentance or our prayers, or our habits of grace, or our long standing in grace, which either save or protect us—but the arm of an omnipotent Redeemer. "The Lord is your Keeper." "He that keeps Israel does not slumber." "Well might we sit down in despair," says a gifted believer, "and say, who is sufficient for these things? had we not the strength of Omnipotence on our side; had we not everlasting arms underneath us, and sandals proven against the roughest path."

Yes, and if, at times, we may be conscious of forfeiting the joys of salvation; it may even be undergoing spiritual darkness; we may feel assured that that darkness generally arises from failing to look above to Jesus and to the grace of Jesus; just as one, turning their back to the sun, sees a shadow projected and that shadow is their own. The remedy for getting rid of the shadow is to turn round to the all-glorious Light of life, with the cry, "More grace! more grace!"

"All is dark on the horizon,
Clouds returning after rain;
Faith is languid, Hope is weary,
And the questions rise again—
'Does the promise fail forever?
Have You made all men in vain?'

"O Redeemer! shall one perish
Who has looked to You for aid?
Let me see You, let me hear Thee,
Through the gloomy midnight shade
Utter You Your voice of comfort;
'It is I, be not afraid.'"

"Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love."

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