The Blessing of Peace.


The Lord shall give His people the blessing of peace. PSALM xxix. 10. (P.B.V.) THE Psalmist has been describing one of those terrible storms which sometimes sweep over the whole length of Palestine, from Lebanon and Sirion, even to the wilderness of Kadesh when, suddenly breaking off in his powerful description, by a tran sition as beautiful as it is sudden, he draws for his hearers a lesson of comfort and of peace. And so while at one moment we seem to hear the very noise of the warring elements in such words as, It is the glorious God that maketh the thunder . . . the voice of the Lord is mighty in operation, the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedar trees . . . the voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness, yea the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Cades the next moment there comes, like a gentle whisper from Heaven, to soothe and reassure us, The Lord shall give His people the blessing of peace. I. Of all the blessings (and they are very many) which the good God so freely bestows upon us His children, there are few more to be desired than peace. Peace, says one, is God s own child. And therefore the Son of God, at that solemn moment, when, His earthly work finished, He was soon to return to His Father s throne and when, being about to leave His little flock to enter upon the great struggle between good and evil in the world, which must continue while time shall last, He had prayed, not that they should be taken out of the world, but that they should be kept from the evil leaves with them, as a legacy to sustain them in all dangers and to carry them through all temptations, His own peace. * Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you ; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. 250

OUTLI ES O VARIOUS PASSAGES And again, when Easter brightness has chased away the gloom of Calvary, we hear the threefold benediction uttered, * Peace be unto you !

As long as the world shall continue to disappoint those who have most trusted it, as long as the joys of earth shall continue to prove but fleeting, as long as the sweets of earth shall continue to turn to gall and bitterness, when fulness has succeeded freshness, so long shall man with his unreasonable soul, and the germ of immortality within him, continue to yearn for something more than the last excite ment and the latest novelty; something more solid and enduring which shall satisfy the hunger of the soul ; something which he looks for in vain in the world and worldly pursuits, for the simple reason that the world cannot give it. A mind at rest, quiet of conscience, peace at the last, these are not the world s to give. And in the hour of trial, or in moments of solemn thought, awakened by the changing seasons, the setting stars, the falling leaves, the approach of winter, the death of friends, when we turn to the world for comfort, the world meets us with a cold philosophy which chills our very souls. II. What the world offers is to what God offers * what the way side pool which to-day s rain has created and which to-morrow s wind and sun will evaporate, is to the boundless sweep and the solemn mystery of the eternal sea ! But we may thank God that although we are inclined to think sometimes, when life is very dark, when the burden laid upon us seems greater than we can bear, that true peace is the prize of those alone whose warfare is accomplished the blessed resting dead ; yet God promises and God gives to toil-worn, sin-laden men and women, even in this life, real, lasting peace. Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee/ The mind, that is, of one who is dead to the world (not to its duties and its lawful claims, but to its allurements and attractions), and whose life is hid with Christ in God, whose life is a hearty striving to do the Will of God of patient endurance, of cheerful acceptance of the bitter with the sweet, of calm, strong love and trust, * That One above, In perfect wisdom, perfect love, Is working for the best. The life in which is the blessed sense of entire self-surrender to God, this is the life which knows * the blessing of peace, a peace which nothing in this world can disturb, so still, so deep, so settled is it. J. B. C. MUKPHY.



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