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

"Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them until the end." John 13:1

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

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away." John 6:37

These three verses bring before us the indissoluble union between the believer and his Lord. That union, once completed, is indestructible. It is hedged round and buttressed with immutable guarantees. "Our lives are hidden with Christ in God." "If we perish," says Luther, "Christ perishes with us." Identifying Himself with His people, He may be supposed to say, as David said to Abiathar, "Abide with me, for he that seeks your life seeks my life, but with me you shall be in safeguard." And what is this safeguard? It is the Deity of the Redeemer. He who gives me life, and who promises that that life is imperishable, is "the Mighty God." The hope of eternal life, promised before the world began, stands on the Rock of Ages. Divinity gives it strength. He who is able to keep me from falling, is the "only wise GOD our Savior."

It is true, indeed, the life of the most devoted believer has its ebbs and flows, by reason of his own backslidings, corruptions, and unwatchfulness. "Young sailors," says Rutherford, "think the shore and land are moving, while it is they themselves all the while. So we often think God is changing, while the change is all in ourselves." The sheep of Christ may, in some moment of temptation, be found, and are found, wandering along the dark glen, entangled in brier-thickets, or carried down the swollen stream. But as the shepherd among ourselves puts a mark on the various members of his flock, that he may know his own, so the sheep of Christ bear upon them what the old writers call "the blood-mark of the covenant"—and of these, the Great Shepherd (when they may be themselves uttering the cry of despair), says, in one of our motto-texts, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away." Their soul safety may seem to be imperilled, but it is only as the flow of the majestic river is apparently impeded by the mass of opposing rock in its channel. It is fretted for the moment; but, after clearing the temporary barrier, it dashes onwards, with grander impetuosity, in its way to the ocean.

So with the Christian. Temptations may obstruct and arrest the smooth current of his spiritual and eternal life; but it is only for the moment—He that has begun the good work—He that has begun the new being—will carry it on until the day of the Lord Jesus. You may as soon dream of stopping a river—damming up the mountain torrent as it plunges over rock and cataract in its way to the shoreless sea—as arrest the flow of that God-given life. Remember the Apostle's golden chain—"Whom He did predestinate them He also called, and whom He called, them He also justified, and whom He justified, them He also glorified!" We may lose sight of the links of the chain, but it never can be broken.

We love this doctrine of the preservation of the saints. We cannot believe in the possibility of a man being regenerated today and unregenerated tomorrow. As Christ's blood has purchased, so will His grace sanctify and His power save. "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end." If we are ever tempted to doubt or despond—if ever led to fear that, as wandering sheep, we may be fatally swept down the rapids, or fall a prey to the evening wolves—let us think of a living, life-giving, life-sustaining Intercessor on the throne of Heaven—the Shepherd's eye watching us from the mountains of myrrh, and the hills of frankincense!

Israel could never have coped with the war-disciplined chieftains of Amalek, but for the uplifted hands of their interceding head on the mount at Rephidim. They would have been scattered as chaff, and their bones left to bleach in the wilderness. Joshua, with all his fiery courage, as column after column swept along the valley beneath, would have been nothing, had not Moses been pleading on the hill. Blessed be God, we have One on the heavenly mount, whose arms never faint—whose hands never grow weary. His words have a perpetual meaning—a perpetual music—"I have prayed for you—I am praying for you—that your faith fail not."

You who are Christ's own, see the secret of your preservation—your perseverance—see the secret of this marvelous triumph of your weakness over Satan's strength—the "worm Jacob" in the strength of his Savior-God "thrashing the mountains, and beating them small, and making the hills like chaff"—the spiritual David, with a few brook-pebbles laying low the giants of sin and unbelief! Yes, indeed, it is a mighty marvel, the security of every member of God's family. This poor delicate plant—beaten with wind and hail, outliving all, and destined to flourish in eternal luxuriance and beauty. This fragile vessel—the sport of ten thousand adverse influences—buffeted by the waves—left for nights on the starless ocean—grazing with its keel the rocks of temptation—yet outriding the storm, and entering peacefully the haven. This vile heart with its legion-foes confederate with Satan—Pleasure in its Proteus shapes—Worldliness with its hydra-headed power—the archers of Mammon with their golden arrows—our own sins—each individual sin we commit, a foul attempt on our part to pluck us out of the Savior's hand—yet the battle is certain to end in triumph.

In earthly battles, victory trembles in the scale often for long hours of bloodied fight; neither side can predict the results. By some apparent accident—some trifle—the fortunes of the day may be decided—the destiny of a country altered, the liberty of a people lost or won. But no such uncertainty hovers over this spiritual conflict—success is sure—no trophy will be lost—no straggler will be left to perish—as with Israel in leaving Egypt, "not a hoof will be left behind." You will not only be conquerors, but "more than conquerors, through Him who loved you!" "I give unto you," says He, "eternal life." Your names are imperishably engraved on this Heart of love—on this priestly Breastplate—and they never can be erased!

He even tells the measure of that love. It is gauged by no human plumb-line. "As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you!" We must first attempt to understand the intensity of the love subsisting between the Son and the adorable Father, before we can rightly estimate the depth of affection between Christ and those whom He has from all eternity redeemed with His precious blood. "Nothing would surprise me very much," said a dying believer, "after having found out God loved me. The breadth of that love indicates that it is for the whole world; the length, from eternity to eternity; the depth, to the vilest of sinners; and the height, to raise us to heaven" (Victory Won).

"Everlasting arms of love
Are beneath, around, above;
He who left His throne of light
And unnumbered angels bright,
He who faced the fiery flood,
Braved the baptism of blood,
Who upon the accursed tree
Gave His precious life for me.

"He who marks each falling tear
Of His burdened pilgrims here,
Never slumbering, never sleeping,
Vigils ever wakeful keeping;
Faithful He, whatever betide,
Is my everlasting Guide.
Safe, howe'er the sky o'ercast,
He will bring me home at last!"

"He guides them to their desired haven."

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