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The rest here referred to by the Apostle, he tells us, is beyond the rest of Canaan, into which the Israelites had entered, beyond the rest of the seventh day, sanctified by God Himself. It is a rest of which both these were types, and imperfect as all types must necessarily be. The rest of the Israelites in Canaan and our weekly rest are both a rest indeed from some kinds of toil and labour, but much toil and much labour still remain. It is not so with the future rest; the perfect antitype. Into this rest " he that entereth hath ceased from his own works," perfectly and entirely, “as God did from his ” work of creation on the seventh day. This rest of the soul between death and judgment, is
, however, only belonging to the faithful servants of God; to those who die in a state of grace, at peace with God; to whom white robes are given, and who “sleep in Jesus.” Far other than a state of rest is the state of that soul which is at enmity with God, and passes out of this world, unrepenting and unpardoned. “The wicked," says the prophet, “are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest (Isa. lvii. 20). Such is the state in which our blessed Lord represents the impenitent rich man in the parable. His body had been laid in the grave with the pomp and ceremony which belonged to his earthly rank; but when his soul was separated from his body, he was“ in torment” (Luke xvi. 24).
If we would enter into rest, then, we must believe in Christ and flee from iniquity, for to whom did God, in his just indignation, swear, as St. Paul tells us, that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not " (Heb. iii. 18)? Thus does the Apostle teach us to look earnestly into the types and shadows of heavenly things. Thus does he teach us to try to understand them, not by way of satisfying an empty curiosity, but to draw from them some important and practical conclusion. He leads us from earthly rests to a heavenly rest; and, setting before us its value and its blessedness, he tells us that it is the portion of the true believer. It is reserved for the faithful and obedient servant of Christ.
Let this, then, be one practical conclusion that we
draw from meditating on the rest of the intermediate state. It belongs to the faithful only. If we desire to enter into God's rest hereafter, we must keep his commandments here. The more we can keep our souls free from the turmoil of this world, from its excessive cares, its faithless anxieties, and its sinful desires, the better shall we be fitted for the rest which remaineth for the people of God, the nearer shall we approach, even while on earth, to the blessedness of “the dead which die in the Lord,"—that blessedness which is described in the devout aspirations of the Psalmist : “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I flee away, and be at rest” (Psalm lv. 6).
Will my readers like to follow Mary once more into the hop-ground? After a few days, she grew quite expert in gathering, and her mother was pleased to find how much help she gave.
6 You will earn a new frock, Mary, by your hopping this year, if you go on as you have begun." “Shall I, dear mother ?—but I would rather earn a pair of shoes for Willy; the wet comes in to his stockings, and I think that was the way he caught cold last week." “So you shall then," said her mother; "you are a good girl, and you shall give Willy a pair of shoes yourself."
“ Thank you, thank you, mother;" and Mary was far more pleased than she would have been with the new frock for herself.
Just then she observed an odd-looking caterpillar on one of the leaves of the hop-branch from which she was picking; she was going to throw it down, but when she saw how beautiful the little white tufts of hair looked on its back, and how rich the black velvet covering of its body underneath, she thought it might 'be curious, and she was going to show it to her mother, when Mr. M came up: “ Have you found a hop-dog, Mary?” “I did not know what it was, sir, but it is very pretty; I should like to show it to schoolmistress.” “Do so," said the vicar kindly, “and will you take it to the vicarage when you are resting for your dinner, and let my little girls see it?” “Oh yes, sir,” said Mary, and curtsied to the vicar. “Look at it closely,” he said, “and count its tiny feet. Is it not wonderfully made? Do you remember the part of the Bible where we are told that God made these little caterpillars?" Mary thought for a moment, and then she said, “ Are they not creeping things, sir.” “Yes, Mary, can you repeat the verse." Mary repeated : “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Gen. i. 25).
Mr. M- now took out his magnifying glass from his pocket, and showed Mary how curiously the outer coat of the caterpillar was made, with little holes, as if to show the velvet beneath, and all these small slits so neatly finished.
“It would take man a long time to imitate this, Mary; well may the Psalmist say, "How wonderful are thy works, O Lord; in wisdom hast thou made them all.”” Mary's mother now looked up and said, “Don't you remember, Mary, that father once brought home some very
little eggs on a leaf, and told you they would turn into little dogs; which made you and Willy laugh very much; this caterpillar came out of an egg like those, did it not, sir?" and she turned to the vicar. “Yes, it did; and it will shut itself up again into something like an egg, a sort of case, but much larger than the egg; the size of its body now; and then what will happen, Mary?” “I do not know, sir." “ Did you not learn to spell the word chrysalis at school ?" "Yes, sir," and Mary spelt the word. “Well, the case which the caterpillar makes for itself is called a chrysalis. finish this branch of hops which I have been picking for you, that mother may not miss your work, I will see if I can find a chrysalis in the hedge for you.” “Oh, thank you, sir !” and Mary worked away as hard as she could. The vicar did not return till the clock struck twelve ; for he saw that Mary was too young a hand to go on with her work while he was talking to her. When mother went to get the dinner out of the basket, Mr. M-
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brought a chrysalis to show Mary, and a group of children soon gathered round to see it: and more than children too. It looked like a very small bag, made of silver paper; and it was so neatly fastened that Mary could not see where it was closed; but she could see something dark inside, which Mr. M-- told her was the caterpillar. “Why is he gone into that, sir?” “]
“ Because God has taught him by what we call instinct to do so.” “But,” said Mary," he has nothing to eat in there.” “No, Mary; but he does not want any thing to eat: the caterpillar is lying very much as we do when we are dead, but in a few weeks it will come out again alive and merry, but changed into a little moth.” “Will it, sir?” said Mary, “how very strange; and is it now like the one I have here?” “No, not exactly, this is another sort of caterpillar; I do not think the hop-dogs have yet begun to turn into their cases: and I will tell you more, Mary; before the caterpillars go into these chrysalises they leave off eating, and lose their bright colours, and look as we do when we are sick, dull and heavy." then, sir, like burying themselves; but how do they get out again, sir?" They make a little hole in the case when they are ready to come out; it is very curious to see the moth or butterfly when it first comes out, the wings are so neatly folded up that you can hardly fancy it is the same insect which you afterwards see flying about; but it soon shakes them open and appears in all its freshness and beauty. But what are you thinking of Mary, you look very serious ?” Mary grew very red and did not like to say, for the eyes of all the children were now turned on her; but the vicar kindly encouraged her, by saying, “Does the moth coming out of the chrysalis remind you of any thing ?”
thing ?” “Yes, sir.” “Do not be afraid ; tell me, what does it remind you of?” “Of Lazarus coming out of the grave, bound in the grave clothes.” “ Yes, and it may remind us of something else—of our own coming out of the grave our own rising from death: when we are buried in the ground we are very like the chrysalis, waiting for our great change, when our natural body shall be raised a spiritual body." “ You said something like this in one of your sermons, sir, but I did not then know what was meant by a chrysalis.”
“There is something more we may learn from the little caterpillar; that if we can look forward to rising again in a glorious and happy state, we need not fear dying; we shall not lie long in the chrysalis, we shall soon rise to life immortal, and enjoy like the caterpillar, a more perfect form of existence. But now, Mary, come and show my children your pretty little hop-dog, which you have laid so comfortably in the leaves.
As they were walking along, the vicar continued to talk to Mary. “ That little
creeping thing sets us a very good example, Mary, does it not ?" “I do not know, sir; it lies very quiet.” - “ Yes; but it does not lie quiet when God bids it work and prepare to go into its chrysalis. Then you will see it very busy finding the right place, and making the little bag into which it may creep. Now the caterpillar does all this from instinct; we may say that it cannot help doing it; but what should be our motive for obeying God and doing what He wishes and intends us to do ?” We should do it because we love Him," Mary answered timidly. “Yes; and because He has told us that if we obey Him and keep his laws, He will raise us out of our chrysalis state when we die, and take us to serve Him in heaven. And how is it that the little creeping insect can fulfil his will so perfectly, while we so often fail?" “It is God who makes the caterpillar do it,-is it not, sir?" “Just so, and it is only God who can make us do it; but why is it that God does not always help us and enable us to do it?" “ Because we do not pray to Him for strength, but trust to ourselves." “Very good; then we should learn to trust in God, and we may feel quite sure that if we do trust in his help and try to do his will, we shall be able to do it.
we quite sure that we shall rise again out of our chrysalis state? How do we know that?"
Mary: “Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." “Go on,” said the vicar. “Even so in Christ shall all be made alive-every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that