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Earnest Devotion.

Earnest Devotion.

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY, D. D.

they rest not day and night. — Revelation iv. 8.
BY WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY, D. D.

they rest not day and night. — Revelation iv. 8.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 26, 2014
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EAREST DEVOTIO. BY WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY, D. D. they rest not day and night. — Revelation iv. 8. Would not any one say that this was meant as a description of mankind in the present world? Al- ways intent on some favorite object; they are some- times lifted to the skies with the prospect of success, then despairing in the same proportion when their hopes are overcast, and so agitated till this momen- tary object passes from their minds and gives place to another, to be pursued with equal devotion, and then cast off with equal disregard. Even if mankind have no such objects, the same words well describe them : for then they become equally restless for the want of some object. " They rest not day and night, " because their minds, having nothing to en- gage them, prey upon themselves. In either case, employed or not employed, men are like the troubled ocean, always heaving, with or without a visible cause, always in motion, even when all the winds are still. But however descriptive of the usual state of this world these words may be, such was not their pur- 136 EAREST DEVOTIO. pose. They were not said in reference to this world, nor to any thing in it. The beloved disciple in his
 
lonely exile had his mind cheered with visions of the future prosperity of the church, and sometimes was permitted to see a glimpse of heaven through the broken clouds. It was when one of these bright but momentary revelations glanced upon his view that he saw the eternal throne surrounded by its rainbow, with the elders in white robes and crowns of gold, and the mystic cherubim, before it. He heard the cherubim saying, " Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Al- mighty,"' and the elders responding in the heavenly anthem, and casting their crowns before the throne. They rested not day and night. While, then, these words were spoken in reference to what the xlpostle saw in another world, and not in this, they suggest what seems to be an indispen- sable condition or law of high spiritual attainment and earnest devotion. When man was first placed upon the earth and commanded to subdue it, how helpless he seemed to contend with the elements of nature ! Without ex- perience, without skill, without instruments, with nothing but his mind and his frame, it must have seemed impossible that the earth should ever be sub- dued by him. But behold what he has done. The desert is turned into a garden ; the mountains have given way, and the valleys have been filled up, be- fore him ; taking the winds and fires for his ministers, he has rushed fearlessly across the depths of the sea. ot content with earthly labors, his enterprising sci- EAREST DEVOTIO. 137
 
ence has wheeled in triumph through the skies, ex- ploring the balanced clouds, measuring the distance of the sun, and pursuing the star that wanders to the utmost verge of heaven. And how has all this been accomplished ? How has man been able to do these things which seemed so immeasurably above his reach ? It is because he has not rested day nor night. It is because, when his mind once became possessed with one of these great ideas, he has given himself no repose till his work was accomplished, till he has known all that patient thought could discover, and done what persevering industry was able to do. In the Apostle's vision of heaven, he is struck with the glowing devotion of the spirits before the throne. It is pure, fervent, and exalted ; it is subject to no changes of rising and falling emotions ; it is always as great as the perfections of the Infinite require, and as the nature of the hearts from which it pro- ceeds permits it to be. Do you ask, " How can it be sustained at such a height, when all human devotion is so easily brought down, — how can their minds be kept fixed on the object of their adoration, when hu- man thoughts so readily wander away ? " The ex- planation is found in the words, " They rest not day and night " ; their hearts are always engaged in the service : the night suspends it not, for there is no night there. It is because they are thus devoted, — in a word, it is because they rest not, — that their de- votion maintains itself so fervent, and towers so high. This, then, illustrates the great truth which ought to be impressed on every heart before me ; religious 12* 138

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