Great Texts of the Bible by James Hastings - Matthew 11:28 - 11:28

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Great Texts of the Bible by James Hastings - Matthew 11:28 - 11:28

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The Great Invitation

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.—Mat_11:28.

1. There were several reasons which made this gracious invitation and glorious promise specially appropriate to the age in which it was spoken. It was an age of political revolution. The old Roman Empire was breaking up, and already the seeds were being sown in it which left it, a few hundred years afterwards, an easy prey to the incursions of the Goths. It was an age of moral collapse. The old stern morality which had made Rome was breaking up like rotten ice. Marriage became a mere temporary convenience, which lasted for a time and then was laid aside. It was an age of social unrest. It was an age of much despair in individual souls. As always, with the decay of faith came in the prevalence of suicide.

When all the blandishments of life are gone,

The coward slinks to death, the brave live on.

And the great number of suicides at that time in the Roman Empire pointed to the despair which was creeping over soul after soul. It was in the midst of such a world that Jesus Christ uttered this splendid invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

“Despair is the vilest of words.” That expresses Fitzjames’s whole belief and character. Faith may be shaken and dogmas fade into meaningless jumbles of words: science may be unable to supply any firm ground for conduct. Still we can quit ourselves like men. From doubt and darkness he can still draw the practical conclusion, “Be strong and of a good courage.” And therefore, Fitzjames could not be a pessimist in the proper sense; for the true pessimist is one who despairs of the universe. Such a man can only preach resignation to inevitable evil, and his best hope is extinction. Fitzjames goes out of his way more than once to declare that he sees nothing sublime in Buddhism. “Nirvana,” he says in a letter, “always appeared to me to be at bottom a cowardly ideal. For my part I like far better the Carlyle or Calvinist notion of the world as a mysterious hall of doom, in which one must do one’s fated part to the uttermost, acting and hoping for the best and trusting that somehow or other our admiration of the ‘noblest human qualities’ will be justified.”1 [Note: 1 Leslie Stephen, Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, 458.]

2. Those to whom Jesus spoke that day in Galilee were conspicuously the labouring and the heavy laden. They were a labouring and a heavy-laden people, because they were in the worst sense a conquered people. The lake district was rich in national products, the fields brought forth largely, and the lake with its fishings was a very mine of wealth. But the land was overrun by the invader. The conqueror’s tax-gatherer was everywhere to be seen, and the wealth of Galilee went to feed the luxury of Rome. Hence the husbandmen and fishermen in the worst sense laboured and were heavy laden. Their rich crops fell to their sickle, their nets were often full to the point of breaking, necessitating hard toil to bring them to the shore, but the tax-gatherer stood over the threshing-floor and in the market, and swept the profits into the emperor’s hands. Nor did their revolts bring them anything but harder labours and a heavier load. Their wrestling and struggling only procured them the sharp pricking of the goad and the firmer binding on their shoulders of the yoke.

How large the taxes were in Palestine about the time of Christ will probably never be known. Shortly after Herod’s death a committee of Jews stated to the emperor that Herod had filled the nation full of poverty and that they had borne more calamities from Herod in a few years than their fathers had during all the interval of time that had passed since they had returned from Babylon in the reign of Xerxes. It is said that he exacted about three million dollars from the people. His children did not receive quite that amount, but to raise what they received and what the Roman government demanded, nearly everything had been taxed. There was a tax on the produce of land, one-tenth for grain and one-fifth for wine and fruit. There was a tax of one denarius on every person, exempting only aged people over sixty-five years, and girls and boys under the age of twelve and fourteen respectively. Then there was an income-tax. There were also taxes levied on trades, such as that of hosier, weaver, furrier, and goldsmith, and on movable property, such as horses, oxen, asses, ships, and slaves. The duties paid on imported goods varied from two and one-half to twelve per cent. Then the homes were taxed, at least the city homes, and there was bridge money and road money to be paid. There was also a tax on what was publicly bought and sold, for the removal of which tax the people pleaded with Archelaus, apparently in vain. Besides this, every city had its local administration, and raised money to pay its officials, maintain and build synagogues, elementary schools, public baths, and roads, the city walls, gates, and other general requirements. Tacitus relates how the discontent occasioned by the burdensome taxation in the year 17 A.D. assumed a most threatening character not only in Judea, but also throughout Syria. Taxes were farmed out to the highest bidders, who in turn would farm them out again. They who got the contract were not paid by the government from the taxes they collected, so that their support, or income, must be added to the taxes. How large that was we cannot know, but it was very large, as the collectors would, taking advantage of their position, often be very extortionate. Amid these unfortunate economic conditions—anarchy, war, extravagance, and taxation—the people grew poorer and poorer. Business became more and more interrupted, and want, in growing frequency, showed its emaciated features.1 [Note: G. D. Heuver, The Teachings of Jesus Concerning Wealth, 31.]

3. But the national feeling which held them together as a people, had it not its side of faith? It had not. Faith, as it found expression in the Rabbi’s words, only added a thousand times to the labour and the yoke. What of money the tax-gatherer left the priest devoured, and what the priest left the scribe laid hands upon; and as the masses sank deeper and deeper in poverty, only the more were there heaped upon them the curses of the law. Robbery, impiety, cursing, were all the multitude saw in faith. Can we not picture that weary crowd of waiting men and women, with, as Carlyle says, “hard hands, crooked, coarse; their rugged faces all weather-tanned, besoiled; their backs all bent, their straight limbs and fingers so deformed; themselves, as it were, encrusted with the thick adhesions and defacements of their hopeless labour; and seeing no cause to believe in, and no hope for rest”? But Jesus spoke of rest, and not idly, or to delude them with a dream. He, like themselves, was a toiler, and offered no hope that with His own hand He would drive out the Roman, or even put the priest and scribe to flight. He did not speak of rest in the sense of relief from labour. His exhortation, “Take my yoke upon you,” makes that conclusive. His relief and rescue were along a totally different line. Rest can be understood only when labour is properly undertaken. When work is regarded as a task, then the only possible rest is relief from it. If, however, labour is undertaken as cordial service, it is quite different. Rest may then mean additional labour; it does then mean harmony and peace of mind and soul.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” It is thus that this saying of Jesus is rendered in the Latin Bible, and, after it, in the version of old John Wycliffe. And thus rendered, it was associated by the devout men of mediæval days with the sacred ordinance of the Supper. “Thou biddest me,” says St. Thomas à Kempis, “confidently approach Thee, if I would have part with Thee; and accept the nourishments of immortality, if I desire to obtain eternal life and glory. ‘Come,’ sayest Thou, ‘unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.’ ”1 [Note: D. Smith, The Feast of the Covenant, 123.]


The Call

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden.”

1. In the history of the world was ever an utterance made like this? Was ever a claim of power or an assertion of supremacy so vast, so calm, so confident? Could we have endured it from one of the teachers of the world—from Socrates, from Seneca, from Isaac Newton, from Kant, or from Shakespeare? Would not its utterance have repelled and disgusted us? Its arrogance would have been intolerable. And yet have these words from the lips of Christ ever produced repulsion? Is it not the case that they have ever been regarded as among the most gracious and lovely of the Saviour’s words? And why so? Has it not been because it was known and felt that these were the words of Him who was God as well as Man? They follow in this chapter of St. Matthew the verse in which Jesus has said, “All things have been delivered unto me of my Father.” The beauty and the sweetness of the invitation, “Come unto me,” depend upon the sovereign right to give it. He who is the Son of God as well as the Son of Man alone has the right. In His mouth alone such words possess not only beauty but also the force of genuineness.

Thus we see that beneath the tenderness of this evangelical message, “Come unto me,” lies the bed-rock foundation of the Christian faith, that Christ is God as well as Man. Call it dogma; if dogma be the epitome of belief, it is the dogma of dogmas. Call it Christian truth; it is the one truth without which Christianity fades into an airy system of baseless speculation, and its claims shrink and shrivel to the dimensions of a human imposture. It is the Divinity of our Lord that makes these words of His so splendid and inspiring in their strength and comprehensiveness. There is no hesitation in their tone; they strike no apologetic or self-depreciatory note. It is not the outcome of long argument to advance or prove His claims. It is not the vague pronouncement of bliss and reward upon those who followed His cause. No; it is the simple authoritative personal invitation of Christ to the people of the world; it is an imperial message given in infinite love and proclaimed with infinite power to the souls of men and women. And we, whether we teach it to our children or repeat it to the dying, can attach no adequate meaning to the words unless we are convinced in our hearts that He who spoke them was God as well as Man, and could really give what He promised.

We are making trial of the belief that in Christ we see the Power by which the world is governed—the Almighty. But the world, if we regard its present condition in isolation, is most manifestly not governed by any such Power. The Sin and Pain of the world we know cannot be themselves the goal of the Purpose of God, if God is the Father of Jesus Christ. Either then Christ is not the revelation of God, or else the world as we see it does not express its real meaning. Only, in fact, as Christ is drawing men to Himself from generation to generation is the victory over evil won, and His claim to reveal the Father vindicated; we can only regard Him as Divine, and supreme over the world, if we can regard Him as somehow including in His Personality all mankind. If the Life of Christ is just an event in human history, what right have we to say that the Power which directs that history is manifest here rather than in Julius Cæsar or even Nero? We can only say this, if He is drawing all men to Himself so that in Him we see what mankind is destined to become.1 [Note: W. Temple, in Foundations, 245.]

2. The call is addressed to all who labour and are heavy laden. To all; not merely to a few favoured souls, not merely to the Jews; it is an invitation to mankind. Our Lord, when He uttered the words, was looking out with the gaze of Omniscience across the ages. He saw each human soul, with its capacity for eternal blessedness or endless loss. Generation after generation swept before His vision, as He longed that they might all come unto Him and find rest. No one is excluded, for all need the healing of Christ. Christ saw—as the painter of “The Vale of Tears” has vividly portrayed in his last picture—all conditions of men, weary of the sorrows, trials and burdens of human life, as well as of its pleasures, ambitions and prizes, when He uttered the tender, authoritative, universal invitation, “Come unto me.”

(1) First, He invites those who labour; or, perhaps more correctly, all who are toiling. Can we venture to reconstruct the scene? Close beside Him stand His immediate disciples, who alone had been privileged to hear the language of His prayer. But beyond the circle of His immediate followers is gathered a crowd of the inhabitants of Capernaum, who had been passing homeward at the close of the day. Labourers would be there in plenty, coming back from their toil in the fields; women also, returning from the market or the well; and fishermen too, doubtless, who had stopped awhile to listen on the way to their nocturnal labours on the deep. On the outskirts of the crowd there might be others, shop-keepers, working men, and farmers; and perhaps women such as Mary Magdalene, for Magdala was not far from Capernaum. Such, in some degree at least, was the character of the multitude on whom our Lord’s eyes could rest. And as He gazed upon that group of peasants, representative as they were of human weariness and suffering, there welled up in His heart a great compassion for the souls before Him, weighed down with a load that was too heavy for them to bear. So, conscious of His power to alleviate the woes and sorrows of humanity and to lighten the common burdens of mankind, He who claimed a knowledge of the unknown God, and had been rejoicing in communion with the Father, opened His arms to the listening multitude and cried, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

(2) But Christ called not only those who labour or toil; He called those also who are burdened or heavy laden to Him. As the idea of toil refers to what we may call the active side of life, to what we do or attempt to do, so the term “heavy laden” or “burdened” refers to the passive side, to that which we bear or endure. Frequently this latter is a condition added to, or even responsible for, the former. We may be toiling while we are heavy laden, or our work may actually be toil because while we work we have also to bear a heavy burden. If we consider the burdens of life they fall into two classes; we may term these the self-imposed and the inevitable: those which are due, and those which are not due, to our own actions. And many of us would be surprised, after a strict self-examination, to find how large a proportion of the whole of our burdens the self-imposed ones are. We may not like to confess this, but still it is true. The burdens imposed by carelessness and thoughtlessness, by sin in the present and in the past, by the force of evil habits which have been allowed to grow unchecked, by our declining to exercise self-discipline and by our refusing to submit to the wise discipline of others—all these various not inevitable burdens will be found to outweigh and outnumber the burdens which are really outside our own control.

(3) What must especially have distressed Jesus and filled Him with pity was that men turned their very religion into a burden and a toil. That which was meant to give them strength to bear all other burdens they turned into an additional load. Instead of using their carriage to carry themselves and all their belongings, they strove to take it on their backs and carry it. All that religion seemed to do for them was to make life harder, to fill it with a thousand restrictions and fretting duties. They toiled to keep a multitude of observances which no man could keep; they bound heavy burdens of penances and duties and laid them on their backs, as if thus they could please God. The sinner was in despair, and the religious man a heartless performer. They had fancied that God was like themselves, a poor little creature, revengeful, spiteful, liking to see men suffering for sin and crushed under His petty tyrannies. They thought of a God who must be propitiated by careful and exact performances and to whom the sinner could find access only after crushing penances. As if the pain of sin were not enough, and as if the bitterness of a misspent life were not itself intolerable, they sought to embitter life still further by emptying it of all natural joy and by hampering it with countless scruples.

The kernel of the law was found in the Jewish scriptures. But this was augmented by four tremendous accumulations. First, there was the Mishna, which was an elaborate reiteration of the law with innumerable embellishments. Then there was the Midrash, which consisted of volumes of the minutest explanations of the meaning of every part of the law. Then there were other bulky tomes called the Talmud, which was a formulation of the law into doctrine at portentous length. And finally there was an intricate mass of comments and legal decisions of the Rabbis. And for a Jew to live right he must be in complete harmony with all this mass of accumulated tradition, speculation, allegory, and fantastic comment. And as every Rabbi had the right and, indeed, the duty to add to it, it is easy to see how the burden would grow. Rabbis were said to make the law heavy, to burden people, and many of them regarded this as their chief duty.1 [Note: N. H. Marshall.]

(4) But primarily Christ addressed Himself to the sin problem. Indisputably sin is the cause of all unrest, the poison which has fevered every life. Sin is the root of all the weakness and weariness which rob life of its true quality. Sin it is that blurs the vision of God, and blinds men to His unfailing nearness and help, as also to the true issues of life, for the realizing of which they do so much need Him. And when Christ offers rest to the weary and heavy laden, He is proposing to deal with the sin which has created their need.

Sin is the greatest disturbance of men’s souls, far deeper than any agitation or perturbation that may arise from external circumstances. It is our unlawful desires that shake us; it is our unlawful acts that disturb us, rousing conscience, which may speak accusingly or be ominously silent, and, in either case, will disturb our true repose. As our great dramatist has it, “Macbeth has murdered sleep.” There is no rest for the man whose conscience is stinging him, as, more or less, all consciences do that are not reconciled and quieted by Christ’s great sacrifice. Such an one is like the troubled sea “that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt”; whilst they who come to Jesus are like some little tarn amongst the hills, surrounded by sheltering heights, that “heareth not the loud winds when they call,” and has no more movement than is enough to prevent stagnation, while its little ripples kiss the pure silver sand on the beach; and in their very motion there is rest.1 [Note: A. Maclaren, A Rosary of Christian Graces, 152.]

Browning has suggested that, among those who heard the Lord Jesus invite the weary and heavy laden to come to Him, was one of the two robbers who were eventually crucified at His side. The poem describes the emotions which passed through the man’s soul, and he is made to say:

The words have power to haunt me. Long ago

I heard them from a Stranger—One who turned,

And looked upon me as I went, and seemed

To know my face, although I knew Him not.

The face was weary; yet He spoke

Of giving rest—He needed rest, I think—

Yet patiently He stood and spoke to those

Who gathered round Him, and He turned

And looked on me. He could not know

How sinful was my life, a robber’s life,

Amid the caves and rocks. And yet He looked

As though He knew it all, and, knowing,

Longed to save me from it.

It may have been so, or it may not. Browning’s fancy may have a basis in fact; we cannot tell. But this at least we know—that he who suffered by the side of Jesus is one of those who have proved the truth of His saying, and have found Him able to make good His word.2 [Note: H. T. Knight.]


The Gift

“I will give you rest.”

1. Rest, then, is a gift; it is not earned. It is not the emolument of toil; it is the dowry of grace. It is not the prize of endeavour, its birth precedes endeavour, and is indeed the spring and secret of it. It is not the perquisite of culture, for between it and culture there is no necessary and inevitable communion. It broods in strange and illiterate places, untouched by scholastic and academic refinement, but it abides also in cultured souls which have been chastened by the manifold ministry of the schools. It is not a work, but a fruit; not the product of organization, but the sure and silent issue of a relationship. “Come unto me, … and I will give you rest.”

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Who but would test this gracious promise? Who is altogether free from the heavy load of pain, either bodily, mental, or spiritual? Yet how many spend half their lives in vainly seeking rest! If ever there was a question which it concerns us all to answer it is this, Where is rest to be found? The larger part of mankind seek it in wealth, in honours, in worldly ease; but they do not find it. Covetousness, greed, envy, fraud, conspire to spoil all thought of rest in the good things of this world. Others seek rest in themselves, but what can be expected from our weak, changeable natures? Society, literature, science may occupy, but they cannot satisfy or rest, the heart. There is no rest for the heart of man save in God, who made him for Himself. But how shall we rest in God? By giving ourselves wholly to Him. If you give yourselves by halves, you cannot find full rest—there will ever be a lurking disquiet in that half which is withheld; and for this reason it is that so few Christians attain to a full, steadfast, unchanging peace—they do not seek rest in God only, or give themselves up to Him without reserve. True rest is as unchanging as God Himself—like Him it rises above all earthly things: it is secret, abundant, without a regret or a wish. It stills all passion, restrains the imagination, steadies the mind, controls all wavering: it endures alike in the time of tribulation and the time of wealth; in temptation and trial, as when the world shines brightly on us. Christ tells you of His peace which the world can neither give nor take away, because it is God’s gift only. Such peace may undergo many an assault, but it will be confirmed thereby, and rise above all that would trouble it. He who has tasted it would not give it in exchange for all this life can give: and death is to him a passage from this rest to that of eternity.1 [Note: Jean Nicolas Grou, The Hidden Life of God.]

2. Many of the great gifts of life are not transmissible. Ask the artist for the power by which he gives us the inspired painting, ask the poet for the power by which he is able to sing and touch men’s hearts into enthusiasm, and they cannot give it. There is always just the inexpressible something which they can never impart. It is the spirit of the thing, which is incommunicable, the Divine touch; the fairy has not given her kiss at birth. But here is Christ who can impart restfulness of soul, that which transforms the soul from being worldly and agitated to being a spirit possessed of calm. It seems to be a miracle that a subtle quality should be transmissible from the Lord to His disciples. Here He stands above all other instructors in being able to pass on that which otherwise is incommunicable, but which, in His hand, has been a real persistent heritage in the Church.

On the way to Chapra from Ratnapur Miss Dawe, of the Church of England Zenana Mission at Ratnapur, told me of a Hindu with whom God’s Spirit worked before he met any missionary and gave him a sense of sin, so that he became dissatisfied. He visited various places of pilgrimage seeking rest. One day he picked up a piece of paper on which were written the words: “Come unto me, and I will give you rest.” He did not know where they came from and went inquiring from one to another. At length a fakir who had heard something of Christianity told him they were to be found in the Christian books. Then he came to a C.M.S. Mission at Krishnagar, where he was instructed, and a Bible given him, and he was baptized. Then his great desire was for his wife. He wrote to her telling her he was a Christian, and asking her to come to him. She was a remarkable woman, and had taught herself to read through her little brother, who went to school. She consented to come to him, as she was his wife. There was great opposition from the family, but he carried her off. On his way he passed a tree where Miss Dawe was preaching, and took his wife to her. Miss D. was astonished that she knew how to read, and put a New Testament into her hand On opening it, her eye fell on: “Let not your heart be troubled”—just the word for her. Miss D. pitched her tent near her village and gave her a course of instruction every day for some weeks. At the end she wished to be baptized. This was many years ago. They are now in Calcutta, working in connexion with the London Missionary Society.1 [Note: Life Radiant: Memorials of the Rev. Francis Paynter, 144.]

3. The rest which Christ gives is based on a perfect reconcilement to God. He gives us an eternal settlement, adjusting us to a place which we feel to be thoroughly suitable, and satisfying all in us which we feel deserves to be satisfied. He gives us rest by making life intelligible and by making it worthy; by showing us how through all its humbling and sordid conditions we can live as God’s children; by delivering us from guilty fear of God and from sinful cravings; by setting us free from all foolish ambitions and by shaming us out of worldly greed and all the fret and fever that come of worldly greed; by filling our hearts with realities which still our excited pursuit of shadows, and by bringing into our spirit the abiding joy and strength of His love for us. We enter into the truest rest when we believe that He takes part with us and that we can depend upon Him.

What the man who is burdened with a bad conscience needs is the assurance that there is a love in God deeper and stronger than sin. Not a love which is indifferent to sin or makes light of it. Not a love to which the bad conscience, which is so tragically real to man, and so fatally powerful in his life, is a mere misapprehension to be ignored or brushed aside as insignificant. No, but a love to which sin, and its condemnation in conscience, and its deadly power, are all that they are to man, and more; a love which sees sin, which feels it, which is wounded by it, which condemns and repels it with an annihilating condemnation, yet holds fast to man through it all with Divine power to redeem, and to give final deliverance from it. This is what the man needs who is weighed down and broken and made impotent by a bad conscience, and this is what he finds when he comes to Jesus.

I hear the low voice call that bids me come,—

Me, even me, with all my grief opprest,

With sins that burden my unquiet breast,

And in my heart the longing that is dumb,

Yet beats forever, like a muffled drum,

For all delights whereof I, dispossest,

Pine and repine, and find nor peace nor rest

This side the haven where He bids me come.

He bids me come and lay my sorrows down,

And have my sins washed white by His dear grace;

He smiles—what matter, then, though all men frown?

Naught can assail me, held in His embrace;

And if His welcome home the end may crown,

Shall I not hasten to that heavenly place?1 [Note: Louise Chandler Moulton, In the Garden of Dreams.]

4. The rest which Christ gives is not rest from toil, but rest in toil. That toil may be excessive, may be incompatible with health, may be very slightly remunerative, may be accompanied with conditions which are disagreeable, painful, depressing; but Christ does not emancipate the individual from this toil. He does indeed slowly influence society so that the slave awakes to his rights and the slave-owner acknowledges them; and so that all grievances which oppress the various sections of society are at length measured by Christ’s standard of righteousness and charity, and tardy but lasting justice is at length done. But until the whole of society is imbued with Christian principle thousands of individuals must suffer, and often suffer more intensely because they are Christians. Yet even to ordinary toil Christ brings what may well be called “rest.” The Christian slave has thoughts and hopes that brighten his existence; he leads two lives at once—the overdriven, crushed, hopeless life of the slave, and the hopeful, free, eternal, Divine life of Christ’s free man. And, wherever in the most shameful parts of our social system the underpaid and overdriven workman or workwoman believes in Christ, there rest enters the spirit—the hunger, the cold, the tyrannous selfishness, the blank existence are outweighed by the consciousness of Christ’s sympathy, and by the sure hope that even through all present distress and misery that sympathy is guiding the soul to a lasting joy and a worthy life. And surely this is glory indeed, that from Christ’s words and life there should shine through all these centuries a brightness that penetrates the darkest shades of modern life and carries to broken hearts a reviving joy that nothing else can attempt to bring.

There is a sweet monastery in Florence, fragrant with sacred memories, rich with blessed history to the religious soul. Its very dust is dear, for there the saintly Bishop Antonio lived as Christ lived, and there the prophetic Savonarola wore out his noble heart, and there also lived the pious painter, Fra Bartolommeo. It stands the forlorn relic of a dream. And even yet it breathes of the true domestic peace, with secluded cloisters where the noise of the city is hushed; with its little cells, whose bare whitewashed walls are clad with the pure delicate frescoes of the angelic painter—the reflection of his own pure soul. In the centre is a little garden kissed by the sunshine; and up from it is seen the deep blue of the Italian sky, speaking of eternal peace. It is natural to think that one might cultivate the soul there; might there forget the world, its hate, ambitions, and fierce passions. It is a dream. Christ’s peace is not a hothouse plant blighted by the wind; it rears its head to meet the storm. Christ’s ideal is love in the world, though not of the world. It is rest for the toil; it is peace for the battle. You must have a cloister in your heart; you must not give your heart to a cloister. You can have it—you, in your narrow corner of life; you, amid your distractions and labours; you, with your fiery trials and temptations; you, with your sorrow and your tears. It cannot be got for gold; it cannot be lost through poverty. The world cannot give it; the world cannot take it away. It is not given by any manipulation of outward circumstances; it rules in the heart; it is an inward state. To be spiritually-minded is life and peace.1 [Note: Hugh Black.]

My real feelings about my work and duty have been so aroused by recent experiences that I do not estimate these external matters as I used to do. And it would be well indeed for my peace of mind—I do not see any other real source of peace—if I could rise above them altogether, and do all I do simply from a sense of duty, from thoughtful and quiet religious impulses, making my work as thorough and as good as I can, and leaving all the rest to God. That is the only rest, if one could only attain to it; but with an excitable, sensitive nature like mine, so alive to the outside world, and with such an excessive craving for sympathy, it is very difficult to do this. If I could only learn quietness and patience, and not self-trust, which is simply self-delusion; but I trust in God. If God will, I will learn this.2 [Note: Memoir of Principal Tulloch, 202.]

The Great Invitation


Allon (H.), The Indwelling Christ, 43.

Beecher (H. W.), Henry Ward Beecher in England, 101.

Brandt (J. L.), Soul Saving, 251.

Burrell (D. J.), The Wondrous Cross, 18.

Burrows (W. O.), The Mystery of the Cross, 141.

Chapman (H. B.), Sermons in Symbols, 8.

Clark (H. W.), Laws of the Inner Kingdom, 98.

Curnock (N.), Comfortable Words, 56.

Denney (J.), The Way Everlasting, 308.

Dods (M.), Christ and Man, 38.

Holden (J. S.), The Pre-eminent Lord, 180.

Hopkins (E. H.), The Law of Liberty in the Spiritual Life, 79.

Hutton (W. R.), Low Spirits, 147.

Kelman (J.), Redeeming Judgment, 19.

Maclaren (A.), A Rosary of Christian Graces, 145.

Morgan (G. C.), The Missionary Manifesto, 143.

Neville (W. G.), Sermons, 9.

Owen (J. W.), Some Australian Sermons, 93.

Pierson (A. T.), in Dr. Pierson and His Message, 233.

Rate (J.), Leaves from the Tree of Life, 119.

Russell (A.), The Light that Lighteth Every Man, 293.

Shepard (J. W.), Light and Life, 279.

Temple (W.), Repton School Sermons, 84.

Christian World Pulpit, xii. 142 (A. P. Peabody); xxiv. 30 (H. W. Beecher); xlii. 102 (G. MacDonald); lxiv. 289 (W. B. Carpenter); lxvii. 246 (C. S. Horne); lxviii. 183 (E. Rees).

Church of England Pulpit, lxi. 414 (H. E. Ryle).

Weekly Pulpit, i. 71 (C. H. Spurgeon).