"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest."
"I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another
Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." John 14:16
A gracious Hospice opened by Christ to His disciples in
the near prospect of His departure, was the promise of a divine Comforter,
whose advent would more than compensate them for His own personal absence
and loss; not a temporary visitant, like the angels who from time to time
gladdened both dispensations; not like the Abrahams, and Elijahs, and
Isaiahs, and Davids, and Baptists--brilliant passing meteors shining for a
season and then lost in the darkness--no satellite with reflected or
derivative light, but an abiding Presence and glory "above the
brightness of the sun."
This heavenly Paraclete was to "teach them all things;"
to "guide them into all truth;" to energize, with superhuman wisdom and
power--a continued strength and inspiration for His people in the time to
come. And, best of all, He was to be the ever-present Revealer of an absent
Lord, magnifying Him in the affections of His Church and people--"He shall
glorify Me for He shall receive from Me, and shall show it unto you."
At Pentecost there was the full realization of the
promise. The windows of heaven were then opened, and showers of blessing
descended. The gathered disciples were "baptized with the Holy Spirit and
with fire," each brow haloed with flame--a radiance of unearthly brightness.
It was the predicted "times of refreshing." The prophetic announcement was
fulfilled--"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers
that water the earth." Multitudes were enabled to call Christ "Lord, by
the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3).
Living as we do under "the dispensation of the Spirit,"
we have in His bestowal and name a true Refuge and House of Rest. He is
emphatically the Spirit of peace, brooding with halcyon calm over the chaos
of unrest. COMFORTER is surely the most precious of balm-words for
the weary and heavy laden, the sin-burdened and sorrow-burdened. Filled with
all joy and peace in believing, we "abound in hope by the power of the Holy
"Filled with the Spirit"--that is the secret and
explanation of the rest this Hospice affords. Its every window is thrown
open to catch the divine breath and echoes from the everlasting hills. There
replenished and recruited with His varied gifts, the traveler is ready to
prosecute his upward and onward way, with the new song on his lips--"Your
Spirit, O God, is good; lead me into the land of uprightness." The chalice
of joy given by the divine Agent is so full of the living water of which He
is the emblem, that there is no room in it for the poison-drops of sin, the
contamination of any baser earthly admixture. Rather, in His hands, life is
like the vessels of Cana, not only filled to the brim, but the contents are
gradually transfused and transfigured into the wine of heaven. Commonest
blessings and joys are in Him sanctified, and become sacramental.
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus
stood and cried, saying, If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me, and
drink. This spoke He of the Spirit" (John 7:37, 39).
May it be mine personally to appropriate this richest
boon and legacy bequeathed by the departing Savior to His Church and people;
recognizing in the presence and supporting grace of "the Comforter" the
chief well of refreshment for pilgrims "passing through the Valley of Baca."
It is an additional encouragement, too, in pleading for the peerless gift,
that the divine Father is harmonized with the divine Son in the loving and
bountiful bestowment. Does an earthly parent delight in lavishing tokens of
affection on his offspring? "How much more shall your Father in heaven give
the Holy Spirit unto those who ask Him?"
Happy those who are able, in some feeble measure, yet
with lowly confidence, to join in the apostle's testimony– "The love of
God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given unto
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is
the place of repose." Isaiah 28:12