Its cold dead weight lies heavily on the heart. Turn wherever they may, there is the dark shadow, the deep gulf, which nothing can bridge. Oh the crushed feeling, the deep sense of wretchedness within, relieved only by the scalding tear which forces its way down the deep furrow in the face in spite of ourselves! Who can tell the deep heartfainting as again and again the unused toy, the vacant arm-chair, the suspended picture, or the hidden locket brings back a torrent too overwhelming for the crushed spirit to stem? Or worse than all, perhaps some are bowed down under the pressure of sin. The iron has entered their soul. The stagnant waters have been stirred up. Once it was far otherwise; but now sin has become a burden too heavy to bear. Yes, many a poor heavy laden one might express its deep feeling of wretchedness by exclaiming, "Oh deliver me but from this burden and all the ills that humanity is heir to I would cheerfully bear." The soul is in prison, "fast bound in misery and iron."

To each and all of these is the invitation addressed. And to the glad welcome with which the Saviour bids the weary ones, He adds yet one word more

"Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." He speaks earnestly and lovingly, and exhausts human language by words expressed only in the original, "I will not, no, never cast out." What more could the Son of God say? What

more can heaven do to show its untold depths of mercy and love to the sinful and the sorrowing?

But observe, in the next place, what it is the Saviour offers to those who come. "I will give you

Man's approach to

God as having

rest." Mark, it is a gift. God's first approach to the soul is always with a gift. God must always be to receive. all fulness and pouring it freely out, man all emptiness, the vessel to receive it. These are the terms, and the only terms, reader, whoever you are, on which God will have any dealings with your soul. As a sinner, lost and undone, you must come to the Saviour, or for ever be shut out of the kingdom. As "having nothing," you must come, and continue to come, to Him to " possess all things."

But what is this "rest" which the Saviour gives? To the sinner it is rest from sin, from a sense of guilt, from the condemnation, the over-hanging wrath of God. The Spirit of God opens the eye of the soul to see Jesus. It sees Him dying, the just for the unjust, and by that death paying the full penalty due to its sin. It has long since felt that heavy to bear, and that the But now it sees Jesus bearing that sin and paying the penalty of that death for it which otherwise would for ever have been its portion. Now it sees all sin put away, all transgression forgiven. It hears a voice from Calvary, "It is

sin is a burden too wages of sin is death.

-a sinner.

finished "sin finished, transgression finished, salvation finished, and all finished for it just as it is Not one prayer, not one tear, not one thought, not one effort, can be added to make the glorious work complete. This gives peace. This gives calmness, repose, "rest," to the soul. What rest none knows but the soul that has entered into it, "for we which believe do enter into rest." We no longer try to get that rest. We look to the cross and see it obtained for us already by the finished work of Jesus, and we enter into it without trying, without effort, without struggle. by a look. We see it all done for us.


enter into it Why did we not see it before? How clear it is now! Ah, we have now ceased from our own works and behold His finished work! Thus we rest.

you done this? Have you this rest?

Reader, have

But how does the Lord give this rest to His "weary and heavy laden" ones? There are two ways in which He may act. He may either remove the load, or give you increased strength so that you may be able to bear it. We should like Him to do the former. We frame our most earnest prayers to this end. But this is human, not divine. great design is, as we are passing through this wilderness, to make its trials and sorrows a means of purging away our dross, and by chastening to mould us into the likeness of His dear Son. All the members of the heavenly family are cast into one


and the same mould. Christ was first cast into it; and we after Him. Thus moulded by chastening into one and the same likeness, we become one family in heaven with one likeness-brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus. Just as in an earthly family all the faces differ yet all bear some likeness to the parent, so all like ourselves when on earth yet all bearing some likeness to Jesus. It is sanctified sorrow which moulds us into the image of Jesus. If God answered our foolish prayers and removed the sorrow, how many of us would be lacking in likeness to Christ! How many of us would miss those precious insights into His character which we only learn by His chastening hand! Nay more, how many a saint would miss his crown in the coming glory! Who does not see even here the difference between the crushed and bruised Christian and others. What a mellowedness, what tenderness in tone and look, what a difference between them and ordinary Christians! Yes, this is God's chastening hand. By what a process it has been brought about! What years of time, what deep searchings of spirit, what provings of His hand, what depths unfathomable has the soul passed through, what that can never be told here, never conceived! Now it has come out of the mould, and in that chastened one is imprinted, as with a sunbeam, some of the brightest chisellings of the dear

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Saviour Himself, seen by those with whom he mingles, though he himself is unconscious of it.

And this is the way God acts. He never removes the load, but gives us increased strength to bear it. Thus He dealt with His own dear Son. "Suffer this cup to pass from me," was His prayer. He was in agony. He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Was His prayer answered? No. The cup was not removed, but there was given to Him strength to bear it- "There appeared unto Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him." Our own experience as children of God is in measure like His. There are three stages through which we are called to pass before we are brought to perfect submission to God's will. Through these three He passed who was the sinless One. First of all we feel "Now is my soul troubled; what shall I say?" The first prayer that would arise is, "Father, save me from this hour." The second is, Has not God sent me this for His glory?" for this cause came I unto this hour." The third is, "Father, glorify Thy name "-the cheerful submission to the trial, if only by it the Father's name be glorified. This is the one great end of all trial—that He may be glorified. "This sickness is not unto death, but that the Son of God may be glorified thereby." Then when you can look up to heaven and say, though perhaps with tear-dimmed eye, "Father, glorify Thy name," you will hear, in your secret inmost soul, the same voice

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