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Peace, Perfect Peace



A Portion for
the Sorrowing

> BY THE REV.

F. B. Meyer, B. A.

Of Christ Church, Westminster tJridge Road, London




New York (Jhic^go "' *'J ,Tpri>5«to', /

Fleming H. Re veil Cortipaiiy

Publishers Evangelical Literature



Copyri ght 1SV7, by Fleming H. Reuel i Company



T H h. ■ N c" ^' V O K K

PUBLIC LIBRARY

T'LDfeN fOONOATlONft



CONTENTS

I. Peace, Perfect Peace .'.... 7

II. How TO Bear Sorrow 28

III. The Blessed Dead 50

TV, Comforted to Comfget^ .... II



Peace, Perfect Peace.



" Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose
mind is stayed on thee." — Isa. xxvi, 3.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark

world of sin :
The blood of Jesus whispers peace

within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging

duties pressed:
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows

surging round:
On Jesus' bosom nought but calm is

found.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all

unknown:
Jesus we know, and He is on the

throne.

Peace, perfect -.peace, tleatn^sjijidors^-^'
ing us andou^f,: ''>>', \ ^ %

Jesus has vanquished death ,ar*d all

its powers. ' \ y*"? I ,,*'}"■ ,■

It is enough: eafth''s* ptrugglc;s< Won
shall cease, *^ ' '* • '- '•

And Jesus call us to heaven's perfect
peace.

Bishop £. H. Bickerststh* '




PEACE, PERFECT PEACE I



"Peace, perfect peace!" What
music there is in the words ! The
very mention of them fills the heart
with longings which cry out for satis-
faction, and will not be comforted.
Sometimes, indeed, we may succeed
in hushing them for a little, as a
mother does a fretful child ; but soon
they will break out again with bitter
and insatiable desire. Our nature
sighs for rest, as the ocean shell,
when placed to the ear, seems to sigh



Peace, Perfect Peace!

for the untroubled depths of its
native home.

There is peace in those silent
depths of space, blue for very dis-
tance, which bend with such gentle
tenderness over our fevered, troubled
lives. There is peace in the repose
of the unruffled waters of the moun-
tain lake, sheltered from the winds
by the giant cliffs around. There is
peace at the heart of the whirlwind
which sweeps across the desert waste
in whirling fury. The peace of a
woodland dell, of a highland glen, of
a summer landscape, all touch us.
And is there none for us, whose
nature is so vast, so composite, so
wonderful?

There is. As Jacob lay adying in
his hieroglyphed chamber, not far
from the Pyramids, his face shad-
owed by approaching death, but
aglow with the light of the world
d



Peace, Perfect Peace I

fco which he was going, he told how
Shiloh, the Peaceful One, the Peace-
giver, should come to give peace to
men. Weary generations passed by
and still he came not, until at length
there stood among men One, whose
outward life was full of sorrow and
toil; but whose sweet calm face
mirrored the unbroken peace that
reigned within His breast. He was
the promised Peace-giver. He had
peace in Himself; for he said, "My
peace." He had the power of pass-
ing that peace on to others ; for He
said, "My peace I give unto you."
Why should not each reader of these
lines receive the peace which Jesus
had Himself, and which He waits to
give to every longing and recipient
heart ?

A poor woman timidly asked the
gardener of a gentleman's hothouse
if he would sell hex just one bunch of



Peace. Perfect Peace !

grapes for Tier dying child. He
gruffly threatened to summon the
police unless she auickly left the
place. But as she sadly turned
away, she was recalled by a girlish
voice, bidding her stay, asking her
story, and insistiner on her having as
many bunches as she could carry
with her. And when she offered her
few halfpence in return, she was met
by the sweet, laughing answer, "Nay,
my poor woman, this is my father's
hothouse ; we don't sell grapes here,
but we are verv Dieased to give
them ; take them and welcome, for
vour dying child." It is so that
Jesus gives His neace to all weary,
tired ones. Whv not to you ?

His peace is perfect (Isa. xxvi. 3).
Unbroken by storms. Uninvaded
by the rabble rout of care. Un-
reached by the hierhest surges of sor-
row. Unstained bv the contaminat*



Peace, Perfect Peace!

ing touch of sin. The very same
peace that reigns m Heaven, where
all is perfect and complete.

His peace is as a river (Isa. xlviii.
18). The dweller on its banks in
time of drought is well supplied with
water. It is flowing at early dawn,
as he goes to his daily toil. It is
there in the scorching noon. It is
there when the stars shine, hushing
him to sleep with the melody of its
waves. When he was a child, he
plucked the flowerets on its banks ;
and when his foot shall tread its
banks never more, his children's
children shall come to drink its
streams. Think, too, how it broad-
ens and deepens and fills up, in its
onward journey, and from its source
to the boundless, infinite sea. So
may our peace be, abiding and grow-
ing with our years.

His peace is great (Isa. liv, 13).
11



Peace, Perfect Peace !

The mountains may depart and the
hills be removed, yet shall it abide.
Its music is louder than the tumult
of the storm. Learn the lesson of
the Lake of Galilee ; that the peace
which is in the heart of Jesus, and
which He gives to His own, can
i^uell the greatest hurricane that ever
swept down the mountain ravine and
spent itself on the writhing waters
beneath. For when the Master arose
and rebuked the wind and said unto
the sea, " Peace, be still," the winds
ceased and there was a great calm.
** Great peace have they which love
Thy law, and nothing shall offend
them."

His peace is compatible with much
tribulation (John xvi. 33). If we
never find our path dipping down
into the sunless valley, we may seri-
ously question whether we have not
missed our way to the Celestial City.
12



Peace, Perfect Peace !

The road to the Mount of Ascension
invariably passes through the shad-
owed Garden of Gethsemane, and
over the steep ascent of Calvary,
and then down into the Garden of
the Grave. " We must through
much tribulation enter into the king
dom of God." But amidst it all it
is possible to be kept in unbroken
peace, like that which possessed the
heart of Jesus, enabling Him calmly
to work a miracle of healing amid
the tumult of His arrest.

His peace passeth all understanding
(Phil. iv. 7). It cannot be put into
words. It defies analysis. It must
be felt to be understood. The thing
most like it is the gladsomeness of a
child in its father*s home, where
wealth and love and wise nurture
combine to supply all its need ; but
even that falls short of the glorious
reality. "Eye hath not seen, nor
13



Peace, Perfect Peace !

ear heard, neither have entered into
the heart of man, the things which
God hath prepared for them that
love Him ; but God hath revealed
them unto us by His Spirit. We
have the mind of Christ." And
(bringing out the deep meaning ol!
the Greek) we may say, that this
peace will sentinel our hearts and
minds, going to and fro, like a sentry
before a palace, to keep off the in-
truders that would break in upon the
sacred enclosure. Oh that we might
be ever protected by a guardianship
so benign and Avatchful and invul*
nerable to attack.

There are a few conditions, how-
ever, which demand our careful
thought.

1. The Basts of Peace is the

Blood. — *' He made peace by the

Blood of His Cross" (Col. i, 20).

We sometimes hear men speak of

14



Peace, Perfect Peace !

malcing their 'peace with God, But
that is wholly needless. Peace has
been made. When Jesus died on the
Cross, He did all that needed to be
done, and all that could be done, so
far as God was concerned, in order
to bring peace to men. Nothing
more is requisite, save to lay aside
fear and suspicion, and to accept the
peace which He now sweetly and
freely offers. " God was in Christ,
reconciling the world unto Himself,
not imputing their trespasses unto
them .... now be ye reconciled"
(2 Cor. V. 19, 20).

There were many obstacles to our
peace, but they have been entirely
met and put out of the way. God's
Holy Justice, which would pursue
us with its drawn sword, can say
nothing against us, because it has
been more vindicated in the death.
of the Son of God, than it could
Id



Peace, Perfect Peace !

nave been in the perdition of myr-
iads of worlds. The broken law,
which might press its claims, is si-
lenced by the full and complete satis-
faction rendered it in the obedience
and death of the Law-giver Himself.
Conscience even, with its long and
bitter record of repeated sin, feels
able to appropriate forgiveness with-
out scruple or alarm ; because it un-
derstands that God can be just, and
yet justify the believer in Jesus.
" Who is he that condemneth ? It
is Christ that died ; yea, rather that
is risen again ; who is even at the
right hand of God ; who also maketh
intercession for us."

On the evening of His resurrec-
tion, our Lord entered through the
unopened doors into the chamber
where His disciples were cowering
for fear of the Jews. His benedic-
tion, Peace he unto you^ fell on their
16



Peace, Perfect Peace!

ears like the chime of bells amid the
storm of Friburg's organ. But He
did not rest satisfied with this. In-
deed, His words alone would have
been in vain. But when He had so
3aid, He showed unto them His
hands and His side, fresh from the
cross, with the marks of spear and
nails, so that He stood amid them
like a lamb, " as it had been slain."
Do you wonder that they were glad?
The heart must always be glad when
it learns the sure basis of Peace in
the Blood shed on the Cross. Rest
on that precious Blood; make much
of it; remember that God sees it,
even if you do not ; be sure that it
pleads through the ages, with undi-
minished efficacy ; and be at peace.

2. The Method of Peace is by
Faith in God's Word. — How many
Christians miss God's peace because
they look into their hearts to see

a 17



Peace, Perfect Peace !

Aow they feel. If they feel right and
happy they are at peace. But if
mists veil the inner sky, or the body
is out of health, or the temperature
of the heart is low, they become sad
and depressed, and ill at ease. Peace
has taken its flight. This will never
do. Life is one long torture thus.
This is not the blessed life which
Jesus came to give us. To live like
this is indeed to miss the prize of our
high calling and to cast discredit on
His dear Name. If you seek peace
through the medium of feeling you ivill
seek it in vain. It may come as a
wayfaring man for a night, but it
will not tarry. It may visit you like
a transient gleam over the hillside,
but it will be only a tiny break be-
tween long leagues of cloud. There
is a more excellent way. Take up
the Bible, the Word of God to you.
Turn to some of the texts, which

18



Peace, Perfect Peace!

shine in its firmamenr, as stars of the
first magnitude in the midnight sky.
Consider, for insrance, words like
these. Ponder tnem well. Seek
not for frames, or leelings, or even
for faith, but concentrate your mind
and heart upon tneir mighty mean-
ing.

" Whosoever helieveth in Him shall
not perish, but nave everlasting life '*
(John iii. 16^

" He that heareth My word, and
helieveth on Him that sent Me, hath
everlasting life, and shall not come
into condemnation, but is passed
from death unto life " (John v. 24).

" By Him, all that believe are justi-
fied from all things " (Acts xiii. 39).

" The blood of Jesus Christ cleans-
eth from all sin " (1 John i. 7).

What do these woras mean ? Cau
they mean one straw less than they
say? And if tnej are as they seem,

19



Peace, Perfect Peace !

is it not clear that directly you
believe you stand before God as a
reconciled, accepted and beloved,
child ?

What is it to believe f It is to look
up to Jesus, as a personal Saviour,
handing over to Him the whole bur-
den of your soul, for time and eter-
nity ; sure that He takes what you
give, at the moment of your giving
it, even though you feel no immedi-
ate peace or joy. Belief in the out-
set is trust

" Your faith is so weaJc,^* But
that does not matter, because there
is not a word said about the amount
of faith. The greatest faith could
not make you more secure. The
smallest faith cannot put you outside
the circle of blessing; because the
word, believethy is so delightfully
vague. Faith as grain of mustard
seed can move a mountain equally
20



Peace, Perfect Peace !

with faith as a walnut shell. Faitii
that can only touch the garment hem
gets a blessing which those who
press may lose.

" You are not sure if you have the
right faith,^"* But all faith, any
faith, is the right faith. There are
not many sorts of faith. The faith
that can only lay down its weary
weight on Jesus ; the faith that tries
to look to Him ; the faith that stag-
gers toward Him, and drops into His
arms ; the faith that cannot cling be-
cause its hands are so weak, but
which calls to Him, believing that
He can save, — That is all the faith
you need, and having it you are
saved.

** But do you not feel saved." And
who said that that was an essential
condition of salvation? Remember
that it is one thing to be saved, and
quite another to feel it. The one
21



Peace, Perfect Peace !

may exist without the other; and
there are no doubt very many, who
are certainly the children of God, but
who have never had the sweet assur-
ance of salvation, which is the seal
of the Spirit, the blossom of grace,
the kiss of God. Directly you look
to Jesus, you are saved, ivhefher you
feel it or not. Don't think about
your feelings; don't think about
your faith ; look to »Tesus, and reckon
that God will keep His word, and
save you.

The result of all this must inevita-
bly be peace. Let Satan from with-
out join with the timid heart within
in threatening disaster ; faith simply
turns to the Word of God, and put-
ting its finger on one of His exceed-
ing great and precious promises, re-
plies, " This must fail ere I can per-
ish ; but I know whom I have be-
lieved, and am persuaded He will
22



Peace, Perfect Peace !

keep His word, and that He is able
to keep that which I have committed
unto Him."

3. The Secret of Peace is the
Constant Reference of All to
THE Care of God. — "Be anxious
in nothing; but in everything by
prayer and supplication with thanks-
giving let your requests be made
known unto God ; and the peace of
God shall guard your hearts and
your thoughts in Christ Jesus " (Phil.
iv. 6, 7). Acid dropped on steel, and
allowed to remain there, will soon
corrode it. And if we allow worries,
anxieties, careworn questioning to
brood in our hearts, they will soon
break up our peace, as swarms of
tiny gnats will make a paradise un-
inhabitable.

There is only one thing that we
can do. We must hand them over
to Jesus just as they occur. It will
2^



Peace, Perfect Peace !

not do to wait until the day is done,
but in the midst of its busy rush,
whenever we are conscious of having
lost our peace, we should stand still
and ask the cause, and then lift up
our hearts and pass it off into the
care of our loving and compassionate
Lord. ** 'Tis enough that He should
care, why should we the burden
bear?"

Ah ! what would not our days be-
come, if only we could acquire this
blessed habit ? We look so weight-
ed, and lead such burdened lives, be-
cause we do not trust Jesus with all
the little worries of daily life. There
is nothing small to Him if it hinders
our peace. And when once you have
handed aught to Him, refuse to take
it back again, and treat the tendency
to do so as a temptation to which you
dare not give away, no, not for a mo-
ment.

9i



peace, Perfect Peace !

Care comes from many sources.
Our daily food, our dear ones, our
worldly prospects, our Christian work,
our pathway in life, our growth in
the Divine Life — all these contribute
their quota to the total sum. Let us
take them all, and lay them down at
Jesus' feet, and leave them there;
and then live looking to Him to do
in us, with us, through us, for us,
just as He will. And as we give
Him our cares. He will give us His
peace, and as He does so He will
whisper, " My peace I give unto
you, let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid."

There is a remarkable text in Isaiahy
which teaches us that the Govern-
ment should be upon the shoulders
of Jesus Christ ; and that when it is
so, there is no end to the increase of
Peace. " 0/ the increase of His gov-
gvnment and peace there shall he no
25 .



Peace. Perfect Peace !

end'^ (ix. 7). Surely these glorious
words refer, not only to the goyern-
ment of a nation, but of each indi-
yidual life also, and they are very
searching.

Where is tne goyernment of our
lives? Is it in our own hands? Then
we must not db surprised, if our
hearts are like the troubled sea, when
it cannot rest. We are out of har-
mony with God. and with His will,
which must be done whether in us or
in spite of us. There can be no
Peace, because there is perpetual
clashing and rebellion.

But directly we put the goyern«
ment of our liyes, down to their
smallest details, into the hands of the
Lord Jesus ; then we enter into His
own infinite Peace. And as His goy-
ernment is extended oyer our hearts
and lives, so does our Peace extend,
as when the blessed light of dawn
m



Peace, Perfect Peace !

spreads like a benediction through
the world.

"In Me ye shall have peace."
'Twas our Saviour who said those
words. Let us abide in Him. Let
us live in Him. Let us walk in Him.
Let us make of Plim the secret place
unto which we may continually re-
sort. And as we are joined to Him,
in the intimacy of deepest union, the
peace that fills His heart, like a
Pacific ocean, shall begin to flow into
ours, until they are filled with the
very fulness of God ; and the peace
of God, like a dove, with fluttering
wings, shall settle down upon our
hearts, and make them its home for-
evermore.

That this Peace may become the
blessed portion of you, my reader, is
my sincere wish.




HOW TO BEAR SOEROW

You are passing through a time of
deep sorrow. The love on which
you were trusting has suddenly failed
you, and dried up like a brook in the
desert — now a dwindling stream, then
shallow pools, and at last drought-
You are always listening for foot-
steps that do not come, waiting for a
word that is not spoken, pining for a
reply that tarries overdue.

Perhaps the savings of your life

have suddenly disappeared ; instead

of helping others you must be helped,

or you must leave the warm nest

28



How to Bear Sorrow

where you have been sheltered from
life's storms to go alone into an un-
friendly world ; or you are suddenly
called to assume the burden of some
other life, taking no rest for yourself
till you have steered it through dark
and difficult seas into the haven.
Your health, or sight, or nervous
energy is failing ; you carry in your-
self the sentence of death ; and the
anguish of anticipating the future is
almost unbearable. In other cases
there is the sense of recent loss
through death, like the gap in the
forest-glade, where the woodsman has
lately been felling trees.

At such times life seems almost
insupportable. Will every day be
as long as this? Will the slow-mov-
ing hours ever again quicken their
pace ? Will life ever array itself in
another garb than the torn autumn
remnants of past summer glory?
29



How to Bear Sorrow

Hath God forgotten to be gracious ?
Hath He in anger shut up His tender
mercies? Is His mercy clean gone
forever ?

This road has been trodden hy
myriads. — When you think of the
desolating wars which have swept
through every century and devastat-
ed every land ; of the expeditions of
the Nimrods, the Nebuchadnezzars,
the Timours, the Napoleons of his-
tory ; of the merciless slave-trade,
which has never ceased to decimate
Africa ; and of all the tyranny, the
oppression, the wrong which the weak
and defenseless have suffered at the
hands of their fellows ; of the unut-
terable sorrows of women and chil-
dren, surely you must see that by
far the larger number of our race
have passed through the same bitter
griefs as those which rend your heart.
Jesus Christ Himself trod this diffi-
30



How to Bear Sorrow

cult path, leaving traces of His blood
on its flints ; and apostles, prophets,
confessors, and martyrs have passed
by the same way. It is comforting
to know that others have traversed
the same dark valley and that the
great multitudes which stand before
the Lamb, wearing palms of victory,
came outof great tribulation. Where
they were we are ; and, by God's
grace, where they are we shall be.

Bo not talk about 'punishment, —
You may talk of chastisement or cor-
rection, for our Father deals with us
as with sons ; or you may speak of
reaping the results of mistakes and
sins dropped as seeds into life's fur-
rows in former years ; or you may
have to bear the consequences of the
sins and mistakes of others ; but do
not speak of punishment. Surely
all the guilt and penalty of sin were
laid on Jesus, and he put them away
31



How to Bear Sorrow

forever. His were the stripes and
the chastisement of our peace. If
God punishes us for our sins, it would
seem that the sufferings of Christ
were incomplete ; and if He once be-
gan to punish us, life would be too
short for the infliction of all that we
deserve. Besides, how could we ex-
plain the anomalies of life, and the
heavy sufferings of the saints as
compared with the gay life of the
ungodly? Surely, if our sufferings
were penal, there would be a reversal
of these lots.

Sorrow is a refiner's crucible. — It
may be caused by the neglect or
cruelty of another, by circumstances
over which the sufferer has no con-
trol, or as the direct result of some
dark hour in the long past ; but, in-
asmuch as God has permitted it to
come, it must be accepted as His ap-
pointment, and considered as the fur-
32



How to Bear Sorrow

nace by which He is searchiug, test-
ing, probing, and purifying the soul.
Suffering searches us as fire does
metals. We think we are fully for
God, until we are exposed to the
cleansing fire of pain ; then we dis-
cover, as Job did, how much dross
there is in us, and how little real
patience, resignation, and faith.
Nothing so detaches us from the
things of this world, the life of sense,
the birdlime of earthly affections.
There is probably no other way by
which the power of the self-life can
be arrested, that the life of Jesus
may be manifested in our mortal
flesh.

But God always keeps the discipline
of sorrow in His own hands, — Our
Lord said, " My Father is the hus-
bandman." His hand holds the
pruning-knife ; His eye watches tho
crucible ; His gentle touch is on the
3 33



How to Bear Sorrow

pulse while the operation is in prog-
ress. He will not allow even the
devil to have his own way with us.
As in the case of Job, so always.
The moments are carefully allotted.
The severity of the test is exactly
determined by the reserves of grace
and strength which are lying unrec-
ognized within, but will be sought
for and used beneath the severe pres-
sure of pain. He holds the winds in
His fist, and the waters in the hollow
of His hand. He dare not risk the
loss of that which has cost Him the
blood of His son. *' God is faithful,
who will not suffer you to be tried
above that you are able."

In sorrow the Comforter is near,-—
"Very present in time of trouble."
He sits by the crucible, as a Refiner
of silver, regulating the heat, mark-
ing every change, waiting patiently
for the scum to float away, and His
34



How to Bear Sorrow

own face to be mirrored in clear,
translucent metal. No earthly friend
may tread the winepress with you,
but the Saviour is there, His gar-
ments stained with the blood of the
grapes of your sorrow. Dare to re-
peat it often, though you do not feel
it, and though Satan insists that God
has left you, " Thou art with w?e/'
Mention His name again and again,
^* Jesus, Jesus, Thou art with me."
So you will become conscious that
He is there.

When friends come to console you
they talk of time's healing touch, as
though the best balm for sorrow were
to forget, or in their well-meant kind-
ness they suggest travel, diversion,
amusement, and show their inability
to appreciate the black night that
bangs over your soul, so you turn
from them, sick at heart, and pre-
pared to say, as Job of his, " Miser-


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