Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Soul's Rest

George Matheson, Leaves for Quiet Hours, pp. 49-50:


"Ye shall find rest unto your souls."—Matthew xi. 29.

The rest of a soul is a very peculiar thing; it is what we should call movement. The rest of a body is sleep, because its work becomes a weariness. The rest of a rolling ball is stillness, because it loses its energy as it goes. But the rest of a soul is motion, because repose is foreign to it. One of our poets has said, "The soul is dead that slumbers;" and it is true. The weariest moment of a soul is its torpor. When it has nothing to think of, nothing to dream of, nothing to speak of— when all its wells are dry, and all its flowers are withered, and all its ambitions are silent —when it feels that life is beneath striving for—when it says, "The game is not worth the candle"—that is an awful time! It is the spectacle of a restless soul, because it is the sight of a soul reposing. It is the broken wing of a bird, the lame feet of a stag, the snapped string of a violin, the lost voice of a singer. The soul imprisoned within itself finds the yoke not easy.

My soul, how shalt thou find rest? On the wings of love. It is not less but more movement that thou cravest. Not a couch more downy, but a pinion more drastic, is wanted to give thee rest. If thou wouldst not be weary, thou must mount up with wings as eagles. Only when thou art flying art thou unfettered. Put on thy new wings, O my soul; put on thy wings of love, and soar! Soar to the joy of thy heart—the man Christ Jesus! Soar to the light of thy waking, the object of thy dreams! Soar, though thou come not up with Him to-day, nor to-morrow, nor, perhaps, for many morrows! Soar, though the wind be high, though the mist be thick upon the hills! If thou shalt only rise far enough, the mist will vanish, and the winds will cease, and in all thine onward way there shall be no more resistance to thy flight. Thou shalt reach thy perfect rest when thou hast attained thine unimpeded flying.

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