"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest."
"Blessed are the pure in heart--for they shall see God."
To see God! What a Hospice! every window ablaze with
The Psalmist's ardent aspiration, as he anticipated
through the troubled dream of life the morning of immortality, was this--"I
shall be satisfied, when I awake with Your likeness" (Ps. 17:15). "Yet in my
flesh," said a yet older pilgrim, weary and heavy laden, "shall I see God"
But the promise has not a future and heavenly
anticipation only. That realizing sight and sense of the invisible, is a
present beatitude bestowed on the "pure in heart." To them the unveiling of
the divine glory is a special prerogative. It is this transparency of soul
which imparts the capacity for "seeing God." We cannot see the splendor of
the material sun through the pane of glass blurred with dust and cobwebs.
The Divine Being can alone be discerned through the translucent windows of
the holy renewed nature. "I shall behold Your face in righteousness."
It was the prophet-spectator whose lips were touched with the live
altar-coal who could say, "I have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"
"Come to Me," says Jesus, as He invites to this Hospice,
"and I will give you rest." There is a wonderful rest in the conscience void
of offence both toward God and toward man. The soul that is the haunt of
passion or impurity, seeking rest, can find none. To the owner of a throne,
with gilded halls, and lordly surroundings, and an illustrious pedigree--if
there be degraded memories and a blemished life--happiness is impossible. We
can understand Paul's noble protestation before King Agrippa. Rather "these
bonds" with a pure conscience; than a crown on the brow, scarred with
dishonor (Acts 26:29).
O Great Rest-Giver, impart this purity of soul, that
holiness without which no man can see the Lord. Alas! it is too often
nebulous vapors of our own creating--the noisy jars and turmoil of life, its
feverish and fretting cares--which dim the Infinite Vision. "But those who
wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." The higher the spiritual
Pilgrim ascends above mist and valley, the more is his moral sight cleared,
and he insures the serenity of the soul at peace with God.
Try to build around you a fortress that will render as
impossible, as may be a disloyal thought, a lapsed purpose, an unworthy aim,
an aggrieved and corroded conscience. Let Purity and Love be the two
ministering angels which keep the fire burning on the shrine of the
heart-temple. Aspire after loyalty to truth and duty. Seek to be able to
cherish the memory, not of defeat and failure, cowardliness and
surrender--but the happier retrospect of vanquished temptation, struggle
ending in victory, the conquests of goodness. Thus under a serene sky may
the vision and blessing of the pilgrim patriarch be yours, who, as he paused
on his journey, called his Hospice "Peniel"--"for," said he, "I have
seen God face to face."
Or the similar realization by faith of a near and
ever-present God--the shadow of the Almighty--which nerved Moses in the
midst of his wilderness trials, and gave him grace to suffer and be strong.
"He endured, as seeing Him who is invisible." It was in his case the
ratification of the outset promise--"My Presence shall go with you,
and I will give you rest."
While blessed are all those who enjoy this soul-sight,
this luminous spiritual vision, it was enjoyed pre-eminently, O Christ, by
You! Your heart was the home of unsullied purity. You were the true "Lily of
the Valley," without speck or stain on its petals; and, being such, You did
know, as none other could, the delight, and "rest," and reality of
Your own beatitude. Creature-purity can at the best be a feeble
approximation to that of You, the Sinless One; the dim luster of candle or
glow-worm compared to the glory of the meridian sun; the finite as compared
to the infinite. But seeking as a life-long, habitual aim, to be gradually
conformed to Your image, with some good measure of lowly confidence may this
be my avowal, combining an earthly and a heavenly meaning– "We all, with
open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into
the same image from glory to glory."
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is
the place of repose." Isaiah 28:12