And the apostles gathered themselves together to Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.…
Rest is an absolute necessity of life; without it the body dies. The traveller on a journey looks forward to some spot where he can stay a while. The sailor has his haven where he can for a time furl his sails and find shelter from the storm and tempest. The wanderer in the hot desert strains his eyes to see the one green spot in all that sandy waste where there are trees and water and the promise of rest. And the soul needs rest as well as the body. Just as too much excitement and hurry and over-work wear out our bodily strength, so our spiritual life, the life of the soul, becomes faint and weak without rest. On our journey from earth to heaven we need some quiet harbours, some peaceful spots, where we can find rest. Jesus has built such cities of refuge for us, His pilgrims, and provided quiet havens for His people as they pass over the waves of this troublesome world.
I. THE SERVICES AND SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH. There is a famous bell in a certain church abroad known as the "Poor Sinner's Bell." This is how it got its name. Five hundred years ago a bell founder was engaged in casting this bell. For a few moments he left a boy in charge of the furnace, charging him not to touch the apparatus which held the molten metal in the cauldron. The boy disobeyed his master, and meddled with the handle. Instantly the liquid metal began to pour into the mould. The terrified boy ran to tell the bell founder, who, thinking his great work was ruined, struck the boy in a fit of passion and killed him. When the metal was cold, the bell, instead of being spoiled, was found to be perfect in shape and singularly sweet in tone. The unhappy bell founder gave himself up for the murder of the boy, and as he was led to execution the Poor Sinner's Bell rang out sweetly, inviting all men to pray for the doomed man, and warning all men of the effects of disobedience and anger. Is there no Poor Sinner's Bell among us? Does the church bell bring no message to you?
II. PRIVATE PRAYER.
III. BIBLE READING. Put your heart into this, and you will find a refreshment, a resting place. It will take you for a time out of the world, out of the great, busy, noisy Vanity Fair, and you can, as it were, walk in God's garden, or wander through His great picture gallery. Men or women who have lived and died in faith will be your companions, your examples.
(H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.