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The Quiet Seasons of the Soul

The Quiet Seasons of the Soul

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. W. M. CLOW, B.D.


"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi." MATT.
xvi. 13.
BY REV. W. M. CLOW, B.D.


"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi." MATT.
xvi. 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 31, 2013
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THE QUIET SEASOS OF THE SOULBY REV. W. M. CLOW, B.D."When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi." MATT.xvi. 13.THE broad impression given by the Gospels of theministry of Jesus is that of unhasting and unresting activity. He lived through those three yearswith radiant calm on His brow and the peace of Godin His heart ; but a sense of burden and of urgencywas ever upon His spirit. To make long journeyson scanty fare, to heal the sick until His virtuepassed from Him, to speak to crowds which throngedand pressed and stared, and to hold debate withkeen and censorious and scheming opponents,would exhaust the strength of the strong. We aregiven glimpses of the wear and strain of this fulland strenuous life. He sat weary by the well. Hefell asleep in the midst of the storm. He went upthe way of His cross in a weakness which wasevident to the most callous eye. He explains thestrenuousness of His few years when He says, " Thezeal of thine house hath eaten Me up."A life which keeps a stream in full strong flood16THE QUIET SEASOS OF THE SOUL 17must be fed from never-failing streams. This lifeof Christ was not maintained at its high level of toilwithout frequent renewal. He often sought thepeace and solitude and refreshment of a calmSyrian night. He led His disciples to the silence
 
of the mountain-top. Time and again He leftCapernaum and its crowds to cross the lake to theunfrequented other side. He loved to walk amongthe olives of Gethsemane. He sought rest andquiet in the home at Bethany. Jesus placed a highvalue on the quiet seasons of the soul.I. The most clearly marked and the mostmomentous of these withdrawals of Jesus from thestress of His crowded life was His going north tothe coasts of Caesarea Philippi. Csesarea Philippilay thirty miles from the Lake of Galilee at theupper end of the valley of the Jordan. The Anti-Lebanons, at whose base it lies, are crowned byMount Hermon, with its everlasting snow. Theforests which creep up the slopes give shelter andshadow. Green glades run along the watercourses.A picturesque beauty makes it a place of delight tothe eye. But the chief attraction of the coasts of Cassarea Philippi was their remoteness. Here stillness and restfulness could be found as in one of ourown unpeopled Highland glens. To that distantand silent spot Jesus led His disciples for a tendays retreat.This religious retreat occurs at the close of thei8 THE SECRET OF THE LORDactive and evangelising ministry of Christ. He willnever again pass as an evangelist through Galilee orSamaria. He will enter Jerusalem only as itsProphet and Priest and King. His ministry mightbe pictured as a long ascent up the slopes and spursof a high mountain range. As one who mightclimb the Andes, and attain summit after summitfrom which he could look back, and from which hecould descry the height that still rose before him, so
 
Jesus passed on to the time of this retreat atCsesarea Philippi. Here He stands upon thehighest summit of His life. He has to make onlya swift descent to the cross. From this highmountain of His experience the cross stands outnaked, bare, awaiting His outstretched arms. Withinsix months He would be crucified upon it. Hesought this solitude in this distant region, that Hemight see His way and school His spirit for the end.He took His disciples with Him that they mightbe enlightened and purged and disciplined, and soprepared for what lay before Him and them. Thatschooling and discipline, that enlightenment andknowledge, could be given only in a quiet season of the soul. Here they heard Him ask questions thatwere never before upon His lips. Here they heardHim make demands which shook their hearts andstrained their faith. Here they heard Him utterthat strange first prophecy : " From that time forthJesus began to show unto His disciples how that Hemust go unto Jerusalem and suffer." Here they sawTHE QUIET SEASOS OF THE SOUL 19His glory. Here He revealed the purpose of Hislife, and strengthened His own hand and theirs inGod. That is the supreme value of these quietseasons of the soul.II. What do we gain in these quiet seasons of the soul which are a necessity of the religious life ?When we seek the coasts of Caesarea Philippi whatmay we expect as gifts from God ?The first and simplest gain is rest. One of themarked features of our modern strenuous and hustledlives is fatigue. Large numbers of men and womenare being constantly overdriven. The rush of life is

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