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

"She did what she could." Mark 14:8

"Faithful with a few things." Matthew 25:21

"Each with his assigned task." Mark 13:34

How many earnest souls there are who give themselves unrest—render themselves unhappy, with the reflection how little they have done—how little—with limited means and resources, material and intellectual—they can do, in the shape of substantial service for the cause of God and His Christ. They have all the desire to do. Their very rest—constrained and unwilling inaction—gives them weariness. They feel like log-bound vessels lazily sleeping on their shadows in the harbor, when others are out nobly wrestling with the storm, conveying priceless stores to needy hearts.

There is an Elim-Palm for such. Both the measure of your ability, and your place and position in life are appointed by God. The Christian poet represents those angels in heaven who "only stand and wait" as "serving"—doing their Lord's will—as truly as the swift-winged messengers who carry to and fro the biddings of His pleasure: and of the Church militant on earth, "Thus says Jehovah," by the mouth of His prophet, "In returning and rest shall you be saved: in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength."

We can serve God, 'in rest and in quietness'—in the noiseless tenor of a lowly lot, an uneventful existence—as well as in the feverish bustle or prominent position of an active one; drawing water from the wells under Elim-palm trees, as well as in grappling with the hosts of Pharaoh or Amalek. No, we believe we have abundant warrant for the assertion, that those most glorify God who, without the often false stimulus of outward or secondary motives, perform gladly that class of humble, unpretentious deeds, which, requiring no intellectual effort, no brilliant gifts, are unacknowledged by the world's approval—unapplauded by the world's hosannahs. Such assuredly will not be unowned or rejected by the Great Recompenser, because they have nothing better or costlier to offer. While it is said of "the mountains" (the Church's great ones), that they shall "bring peace to the people;" the "little hills" (the Church's humble, unknown, obscure ones), are to do so also "by righteousness" (Ps. 72:3).

Let none, then, be coveting opportunity for the execution of burdensome labors, or for occupying noticeable positions, as if these enjoyed a monopoly in the divine favor and approval. We repeat, the hewer of wood, or trimmer of lamps in the Temple—if (what might be deemed) his drudgery, were performed from a principle of obedience and lowly faithfulness—served the God of Israel as much as the High Priest with his breastplate gleaming with the Urim and Thummin.

MOTIVE is everything with the Omniscient Heart Searcher; and He is satisfied, if we fulfill, with a good conscience, our appointed place and destiny, whatever that may be. The little fire-fly illuminating the darkness in the balmy plains of the South, is one of the tiniest lamps in God's magnificent Temple of night—a mere glimmering spark compared with other and nobler altar-fires of sun and stars in the same great sanctuary. But that insect does not refuse to rise on its wings of flame, because unable to emit a greater amount of light; it is content to shine with the luster assigned to it in its humble place in the material economy, and the Creator is glorified thereby.

The insignificant "nameless rill" does not refuse to sing its way to the ocean, because, on the opposite side of the mountain or valley, a mightier torrent is thundering along, and bearing in its course a larger and wealthier volume. It carries its appointed tribute to the sea; and He who "sends forth the springs into the valleys which run among the hills" expects from it no more. "She has done what she could," is the Divine payment of commendation. The one lowly talent, conscientiously traded on, will receive its own with interest. The widow's mite and the cup of cold water are accepted, and the intention and desire would be accepted, if there were no mite and no cup to give. See how graciously God owned the unfulfilled purpose of His servant David regarding the erection of the Temple on Zion!—"Because it was in your heart to build a temple for my Name, you did well to have this in your heart" (1 Kings 8:18).

"Some eager hearts—some souls of fire,
Who pant to toil for God and man,
View, with a look of keen desire,
The upland way of toil and pain:
Almost with scorn, they think of rest,
Of holy calm, of tranquil breast.
On others, lowlier tasks are laid,
With love to make the labor light;
And all their efforts may be shed
On quiet homes and lost to sight."

Wordsworth, in one of his minor poems, speaks beautifully of "That best portion of a good man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."

In our Lord's parable of the Talents just referred to, the varied trusts are proportioned to our varied capabilities. The master gave his servants "each according to his ability." God, in the dispensing of these sacred trusts, does not act without reason; He distributes the talents according to the known powers and capacities of His servants. He gives equitably, and He expects a corresponding repayment. Some, from peculiar outward circumstances—from their position in the Church and the world—will be able to invest a large capital, and draw in a large return: these are the five talented servants. Others move in a humbler and less influential sphere: they have only two talents, and from them, as the result of trading, their Lord expects no more. In either case, they have done their duty up to the measure of their responsibility; the amount entrusted to them has been doubled; and their fidelity being thus tested and proved, their Master is satisfied.

The Church of Christ is made up of "vessels of large and small quantity;" but the Lord does not unreasonably expect the smaller vessel to hold the contents of the large one. The Church is a garden adorned with trees and plants and flowers; but He does not expect the hyssop to assume the dimensions of the cedar, nor the olive tree to attain the height of the palm tree, nor the myrtle to be laden with the fruit of the vine, nor the lily to waft the perfume of the rose. He does not expect the lowly unlettered Christian to fight like the champion of the faith. He does not expect from poverty the alms it has not to bestow, nor from the sick-bed sufferer the active energies which bodily prostration forbids.

Let none needlessly mourn that they cannot glorify God by talents He never gave them, and for which, therefore, they are not accountable. Let none say, 'Had I been in another position in life, I might have invested a larger capital for my Lord.' Though you are narrowed and restricted where you are, to the one talent, use it well, and God will accept "according to what a man has, not according to what he has not."

What a noble program and directory of duty is that given by the great Apostle in his great Epistle: "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." (Rom. 12:6-8).

"Last of the laborers, Your feet I gain.
Lord of the harvest! And my spirit grieves
That I am burdened, not so much with grain
As with a heaviness of heart and brain!
Master, behold my sheaves!

"Few, light, and worthless—yet their trifling weight
Through all my frame a weary aching leaves;
For long I struggled with my hapless fate,
And staid and toiled until it was dark and late,
Yet these are all my sheaves!

"Full well I know I have more tares than wheat.
Brambles and flowers, dry stalks, and withered leaves,
Why I blush and weep, as at Your feet
I kneel down reverently, and repeat,
'Master, behold my sheaves!'

"But I shall gather strength and hope anew,
For well I know Your patient love perceives
Not what I did, but what I strove to do,
And though the full ripe ears be sadly few,
You will accept my sheaves!"

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one the of least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me."

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