Rest and Give Thanks
James Smith, 1860
This motto was inscribed on a fountain, intended for the accommodation of travelers. Weary, the traveler needs rest. Thirsty, he needs drink. Both are provided and presented to him freely, he may well therefore be directed to give thanks. The fact is, we are not half thankful enough. Perhaps if we were kept in more need — we would be more grateful for what we have. But the Lord daily loads us with his benefits. Most of us have cause to say, "My cup runs over!" The lines have fallen unto us in pleasant places, yes, we have a goodly heritage. What spot is so favored as Old England! What people are so indulged as we are! But I fear we are very ungrateful, and are apt to dwell more on a few trials — than on a thousand mercies. May the Lord, by his Holy Spirit, open a fountain of gratitude in all our hearts.
But the motto of the fountain, is very much like the gospel. That calls us to
To rest from labor and useless toil.
To rest from cares and fears.
To rest from doubts and misgivings.
To rest in the midst of a restless world.
To rest at the feet of Jesus.
To rest on the Word of Jesus.
To rest on the finished work of Jesus.
To rest and be safe.
To rest and be happy.
Faith, is resting on Jesus — staying ourselves on his Word, on his perfect work. Trusting him to save us. Confiding in him to answer for our sins, provides for us a title to Heaven, and prepares us for going there.
Jesus gives . . .
rest to the troubled conscience,
rest to the weary heart,
rest to the anxious spirit,
the moment we believe on him.
Sinner, here is rest for you. Carry your burden no further. Labor for life no longer. You are heavy laden, "Rest and Give Thanks!"
But here is aFOUNTAIN too. A flowing fountain. A fountain that will . . .
It is the heart's blood of Jesus.
It was shed for you.
It is preserved for you.
It is free for you.
Wash and be clean.
Wash and be healthy.
Wash and be invigorated.
Not only so, it is a drinking fountain too.
It will quench your thirst of sin.
It will satisfy the craving desires of your soul.
It will revive your drooping spirits.
It will be in you a well of living water, springing up into everlasting life.
This is spoken of the Spirit, which Spirit Jesus gives. It flows freely from him. Yes, both blood and water flowed from the opened heart of Jesus. The one expiates your sin, the other cleanses your soul. Drink then and give thanks. The water of the fountain will not cleanse the traveler — unless it is applied. Neither will the blood of Jesus benefit you — unless it be applied to you. The water of the fountain will not satisfy the thirst of the traveler — unless he drinks of it; nor will the Spirit satisfy or sanctify our souls — unless we receive it. Drink and give thanks!
Reader, cast your soul on Jesus, and enjoy rest. Receive the Spirit from Jesus, and enjoy satisfaction. Make use of Christ, as the traveler of the fountain, and give thanks. Thank God for such a precious Savior. Thank God for such a seasonable rest. Thank God for a fountain of living water. Thank God for a free salvation — a full salvation; so that it is represented by an ever full, an ever flowing fountain. Thank God that you live in such a day — in such a place. Rest and enjoy yourself, and then praise God. Drink and satisfy your soul, and for such a favor give God thanks.
May I, as I pass along the journey of life, and amidst all its weariness, keep my eye on Jesus, and "rest and give thanks."