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Rest

Rest

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY STOPFORD BROOKE


Thin remainth a rest for the people of God.

Hbrbws iv.
BY STOPFORD BROOKE


Thin remainth a rest for the people of God.

Hbrbws iv.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 26, 2013
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06/26/2013

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RESTBY STOPFORD BROOKEThin remainth a rest for the people of God.Hbrbws iv.I T is a bold thing to say that we can attain to rest,^ for we live in a world where restlessness seemsmaster. It might not be so hard to realise rest, irwe passed our life in the quiet of the country, wherelife flows like those sleepy rivers which slowly swirlthrough the meadows of the fen-lands. But eventhere monotony has its own unquiet ; the unevent-ful life without is often married to an inner life fullof cravings, indignations and despairs, of passionaterestlessness to escape into the movement and stirbeyond — such as a captive feels in prison, who canhear through his bars the voices of men and womenin the free air, and the rustling of the trees. Aquiet life does not always mean a restful soul.Still, in such a life we might conceive of peace,for da}' after day ature lays the image of it beforeour eyes — but here, in the greater cities of the earth,the picture is not of rest but restlessness. Often125THE GOSPEL OF JOYI think, as I go through the streets of London, thatI am in that circle of the Inferno where the soulswere driven round incessantly upon the eddyingwinds, in pauseless trouble and in bitter hell — savethat love at least is here, and was there — and where
 
there is any love there is no perfect hell. But ourcitied restlessness has only too little love to modifyit. It is another mistress rather than love who mostbesets us with her cruel caressing. It is desire of the things which die with us — which, when they aregrasped, have no permanent delight, and end in thefierceness of satiety — that drives us round upon themurky whirl. Money, ambition, fashion, pleasure of the appetites, craving of the senses ; excitement of gambling, or of gambling with our life; our ownunbridled will ; base passions basely wrought intobase action — these are the whirlwinds on which weare so often borne, by which we are lashed into sodreadful an activity. It is a terrible sight ; and itis hard at times to realise the quiet movement of God's will, or those eternal elements of humanitywhich live their constant life in men, below themadness and the storm.It is a wonderful thing to stand still in a greatEnglish city, and to see flowing by our place theeager, set, and pushing crowds, hastening as if forlife and death ; and some imagine that they see in136RESTthat swarming activity the proof and image of thegreatness of England. But the question a strangerfrom a nobler world would ask, in wonder indeed, butthe wonder of dismay and pity, would be this : " Whyare all this little folk in such dreadful hurry, hurrythat looks like trouble ; what are they pursuing, andwhat is the end of their activity ? Is it the thingsthat remain ? If it were I should be conscious of some rest." And, indeed, he would be right. It isnot greatness that we see but weakness. More than
 
half of the fierce movement is the desperate battle of thousands for food, for a roof to cover them, for thecommon rights of life — and the battle is good, butnot its desperation. The basis of our society is notstrong but weak. Were it not for the love amongthe crowd, it would perish of the feebleness thatdespair awakens and confirms. Another part of that wild haste is made out of the selfish desire formore and yet more of wealth, which, accumulated,corrupts the springs of rest, and hands on restless-ness to those who inherit it. Then, there are thosewhom the evil passions drive along — hatred andimpurity, jealousy and anger, fear and sorrow ; andothers who pursue the things which perish whilewe touch them ; wasting immortal energies on aimsas unstable as the stormy sea, and the end of whichis fierce disquiet. o greatness for England in137THE GOSPEL OF JOYthat I o, but physical weakness, intellectual decay,moral loss, spiritual degradation IAnd when we gu uowi* into the city of our ownheart, a city more real than Paris or London,wp find ourselves in as great a crowd as thatwhich surges up and down in the huge caldronswhere men furiously seethe together. That crowdwithin is as restless and as driven, as varied andas passionate, as the crowd without. All the streetsof our heart are full and whirling. There is thehost of desires rushing to and fro; there the high-hearted nobles and great citizens of the soul.Others are there of lower and fiercer port,others base as criminals ; and among them, likewarriors, move the great passions, breathing

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