"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest."
"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John
"Come unto Me" is now echoed in a voice from Heaven.
He who gave the invitation to the weary and heavy laden,
in a world of unrest, issues the same under a different formula, regarding
the world of everlasting rest. He will return to receive His people to
Himself, pronouncing the promised beatitude, "Come, you blessed of My
Father." No longer sin-laden, sorrow-laden pilgrims; but with every dimmed
eye dried, every burden laid down, every foe conquered, He will conduct them
to what the old writers call "the rest without a rest," the rest from sin
and trial, the rest from the great fight of afflictions. The pilgrim lies
down at night, weary and fatigued, in the earthly Hospice. When he awakes,
he is in the heavenly one. His window looks no more out on cloud and storm
and blackness. He is bathed in the light of Paradise. Yet he awakes not to
dreamy inaction--rather will it be to participate in the unresting
activities of the ransomed, "serving Him day and night in His temple." "They
rest not" (Rev. 4:8).
What an elevating thought, that the divine Rest-Giver is
now, in His unresting love, preparing a Home, rearing a Hospice for
His pilgrims on the true Alps of God, the everlasting hills of glory, where
tempests of affliction never brood, and wintry Death no longer sways his icy
scepter; no baffled hopes or frustrated plans--"the rest that remains." When
they leave the world, to use another metaphor, it is not to an unknown land
they are sailing. They are going, as millions before them have gone, to
colonize the better country.
Be it specially noted, too, He is "preparing a place"
for His redeemed. It is true, most true, in a conventional phrase, that
heaven's main characteristic is "not locality, but character." The pure
in heart shall see God. The righteous shall shine forth as the
sun in the kingdom of their Father. But neither must we dispense with the
literal comfort of our Lord's words, that He has gone to make ready some
special dwelling-place, where He will receive His people to Himself. What or
where is the favored spot in the realms of space we cannot, by the boldest
flight of a sanctified imagination, tell. For His risen saints, in their
glorified resurrection-bodies, and for His own glorified Self, the center of
their adoring homage, there must be some thing more than an ethereal,
unmaterialistic heaven--a mere spirit-world. "In my Father's house are many
mansions"--mansions suited and adapted for the tastes, capacities,
idiosyncrasies of His vast family; the unreached ideals of earth fully
attained in the perfected household above.
Lord Jesus, prepare me for the place which You
have gone to prepare for me. Amid the often fretful calls of
existence, let me catch the joyous chimes wafted from the bells of glory.
There may be, and will be, tearful partings here. There are angel-welcomes
and saint-welcomes there, and His own welcome best of all. "I will come
again!" Let me have my heart's best chambers meanwhile lustrated and
plenished for the advent of the Elder Brother. Let no discordant note mar
the joy of that welcome. "A little while, and you shall not see me--and
again, a little while, and you shall see me!" The first little while is now
running its course in the sand-glass; its hours and moments may soon, and
must, sooner or later, be numbered and completed. May I be ready, always
ready, for the "again, a little while, and you shall see Me,"--when the
advent morn shall dawn, and the gates of the heavenly hospice be thrown open
for waiting pilgrims.
"Rest comes at length; though life be long and dreary,
The day must dawn, and darksome night be past;
Faith's journey ends in welcome to the weary,
And heaven, the heart's true home, is ours at last!"
"Make haste, my Beloved, and be like to a roe or to a
young deer upon the mountains of spices."
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is
the place of repose." Isaiah 28:12