One of the beatific effects of the cleansing of the heart from all sin is soul-rest. It always accompanies the glorious experience of entire purity.
This poor tired world of ours needs rest. Study the faces of the people you meet in the streets, in the markets, in the cars, in the churches, and there is one word NOT written on them, and that word is "Rest." You will find many other words written on them. On some faces you see "Selfishness" in crabbed, crooked letters; on others "Lust" in bold-faced type; on others "Gluttony"; on others, "Self-Conceit"; on others, "Craftiness"; and on through a thousand unworthy legends; but the one thing which makes life worth living is not found except among the sanctified.
VAMPIRES AND BATS.
It is wonderful how elusive rest is. You may search for it all your days and grow gray and haggard, and sit down in the evening of life with the vampires circling about you and be forced to confess, "I have not found rest!" You may retire from business and say, "I will spend my declining years in peace," but as the sun goes down the bats come out and flap the black skinny wings of the sins of other days in your affrighted face. If you are a student you may drop your books like Dr. Faust and hurry to the country, but the imp of restlessness will dog your steps and snare your pathway and you will carry home with you a Mephisto who will never leave you.
THE SEEDS OF ANARCHY.
Some Christian people seek rest in changing preachers, but there is nothing in that to bring it. You may leave the minister who thumps the desk and listen to a man with a nasal twang, but you are still restive and unsatisfied. You think the reason your peace of soul is disturbed is that Mrs. Garrulous talked about you, or that the weather is rainy and disagreeable, or that the meetings are dull, or that people are selfish. The real reason is that you have a restlessness in your heart characteristic of inbred sin. You possess the seeds of dissatisfaction, and lawlessness, and anarchy, and nothing but holiness of heart will expel them.
THE OCEAN DEPTHS.
Down in the unfathomed depths of old Ocean there is no movement, no disturbance. Gigantic "Majesties" and "Kaiser Wilhelms" and "Oregons" and "Vizcayas" plow and whiten the surface; tempests rage and Euroclydons roar and currents change and tides ebb and flow, but the great depth knows no ripple. It is said that down there the most fragile of frail and delicate organisms grow in safety. In the depths of the sanctified heart there is no storm and no breaker. Trials may come and leave white scars; billows may beat and surges may roll, and water-spouts and tornadoes may make the upper sea boil with anguish and sorrow and grief, but deep in the heart there is calm. There the delicate graces of the Spirit thrive and luxuriate. Great, soulless, iron-keeled, worldly institutions and sharp-prowed cutters may ride over your sensibilities, but the inner placidity is unbroken.
THE ETERNAL SABBATH.
God's plan is to rest us so we can work for Him with ease and success. He institutes an everlasting Sabbath in the spirit that we may be ceaseless in sanctified activities. If a man is always jaded and tired he can not take hold of his work with much enthusiasm.
There is no mistaking the man or woman who has found the second rest. There is a poise of spirit and a sweet serious balance of soul which can not be counterfeited. The preacher who appreciates spirituality sees no sight more beautiful than the serene, calm faces of auditors from whose souls the tempests have been cast. Life's toils and distractions and disappointments have all been negatived by the power of the all-conquering Christ.
A SCENE AT ALLENTOWN.
These words are being written in the city of Allentown, Pa., where the writer is spending ten days in a series of Pentecostal services. Last evening we saw a symbol of the rest Christ gives. We strolled along the east bank of the Lehigh River about half an hour after sunset. All the western sky was beautiful with an afterglow. The water of the river, silver near the shore and golden toward the west, was as still as the face of a mirror. The trees on the shore leaned over perfect pictures of themselves. The hills, which fell back gracefully from the valley, were covered with cloaks of gold and vermillion and emerald, and not a leaf stirred in the evening air. Far up the river the tiny bell of a canal-mule tinkled drowsily. On the veranda of a little cottage a young mother crooned a lullaby to a slumbering child, and a little bird in a thick grove called, "Peace! Peace!"
If God can make so beautiful a scene in the physical world, what can He not make in the spiritual? Thank God! He can excel anything the natural eye ever beheld. He can hang the soul with paintings and turn the "River of Life clear as crystal" through it, and fill the chambers of the heart with lullabies and the song of birds crying, "Peace!" If there are times when we are awed and charmed by
"All the beauty of the world"
let us remember that what we see is only a type of the grandeur and glory and splendor He will put in our spirit-nature if we but permit Him to sanctify us and cast out the storms and tempests.
THE PAIN OF SYMPATHY.
While we may possess and enjoy "the second rest" here and now, we need not forget that another is promised to us. We get weary physically sometimes here. The days frequently seem long and trying. There are hours and hours of labor, and nights and nights of toil, but, thank God! we can say at each sunset, "I am one day nearer rest." For while a sanctified man is always at rest spiritually, he can not rest physically to much satisfaction. In his dreams he can see the white, drawn faces of the doomed, and hear the wild uncouth shriek of the tormented. He remembers with horror that one hundred thousand souls are rolled off into Eternity while the earth makes one revolution! He thinks of cheerless homes, and torn and bleeding hearts, and wives waiting for the sound of unsteady steps, and children friendless and hungry, and figures leaping from bridges, and shaking hands holding poison, and maniacs behind the bars glaring with wild eye-balls through dishevelled hair! And he leaps from the couch with the cry, "O the pity of it all!" And he can not be still, he can not be idle, but is constrained to do his utmost by word and pen to save a sinking, gurgling, drowning humanity.
WHEN IT IS ALL OVER.
But one day it will all be over. Soon we shall all have preached our last sermon and prayed our last prayer and spoken our last word. Our lives will soon have passed into history. That blessed hour will soon be here in which we shall "lay down the silver trumpet of ministry and take up the golden harp of praise." Hallelujah, it is coming! it is coming! Praise the Lord!