And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.…
And the question arises, What causes this longing after rest? — why do these hopes and fears, these dreamings and aspirations, these mental struggles after what lies so far away from the natural man, so constantly find their place in the story of human lives? The answer is surely plain and simple. It is because, though we are only imperfect men, yet we are still men made in the image of God; it is because the soul, the very light which God has placed within, though often shaded and darkened, is never wholly extinguishable by earth and the things of earth. Because, though all too often the sounds are stilled by the crash of the world's unrest, there are times when in each heart the tones of the voice of God are heard calling to nobler and better things. Let us not drown that voice. Let us not grieve that Holy Spirit, lest He turn and leave us. Rather let us leave all to Him and, calmly confident in His power, rest in the certainty that as day succeeds to day, so shall each returning dawn see us further and further upon the track that leads to that goal for which we long; for "there is a hand that guides." Nor is there the least uncertainty as to how He will work upon us. The teaching of the Gospel solves the problem, for there we learn that in the power of that Holy Spirit we shall be enabled to follow the Master. Yes, His strength will enable us who would, to come after Him, to deny ourselves, and, taking up our cross daily, to follow Christ. Only so; holiness like Christ's, perfection like God's, may only be had through Christ. Our wills must be subordinated to His, our steps planted in His footprints, everything and everybody must be given up that comes between Him and ourselves, each thought must be brought into harmony with His mind, and this, mark you, in a world where temptations to an opposite course are neither few nor far between — this, too, by men whose natures run directly contrary to such a course.
(W. C. Hawkesley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.