Sermon 244. The Bed and Its Covering
Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 9th, 1859, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.
"For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himselfin it."-Isaiah 28:20.
GOD HAS SO made men, that there are two things essential for their comfort, if not for their very existence, namely, sleep and clothing. Had God so pleased it, he might have made man an everlasting watcher, upon whose eyes the mists of night never should descend,and upon whose eyelids the fingers of sleep never should be placed. Perhaps angelic spirits never sleep. Day without nightthey circle God's throne rejoicing, and ceaselessly they chant his praise. Perhapstheir unflagging wings are always stretched for duty, and their untiring voices are ever occupied with song. But manifestlyit is not so with man. We need "kind nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep." If we could not sleep, should we not even wishfor death? Let sleep be long withholder from our eyelids, if we had no other disease our strength must become prostrate, andthe fire of life would smoulder into the ashes of death. Sleep, therefore, is essential even to the very existence of ourbodies on earth. Clothing also is needful for our comfort, and, at least in some climates, absolutely necessary for ourvery existence. God has made the animal creation of such a kind, that they grow their clothing upon their own backs. For thehorse and for the sheep no loom works, nor cloth the shuttle hasten in its course. Their backs are their own webs, and theyfashion their own garments, as if to teach us, that man alone is imperfect, and needs to long beyond himself: Other creaturescanreadily find their own habitations, and produce for themselves out of themselves; but man feels his nakedness, and musteither seek for the fig leaf of his own righteousness, or else the Lord God must make for him a dress with which he may arrayhimself and stand completely covered. Dress, I say, is essential to man-dress and sleep.
Now, I think it may be readily granted, that man's body is, after all, only a picture of his inner being: just what the bodyneeds materially, that the soul needs spiritually. The soul, then, needs two things. It requires rest, which is pictured tous in sleep. The soul needs a bed upon which it may repose quietly and take its ease. And, again, the soul needs covering,for as a naked body would be both uncomfortable, unseemly, and dangerous; much more would the naked soulbe unhappy, noxious to the eye of God, and utterly miserable in itself.
Now, our text tells us that men have sought for rest and for clothing where they are not to be found; that they have goneabout to make a bed for themselves which is shorter than that they can stretch themselves upon it; and that they have alsosought to make coverings for themselves which have turned out to be narrower than that they can wrap themselves in them.
We shall speak, first, of what man has done, and of his vain and futile attempts to find rest and clothing for his soul;and then, afterward, we shall briefly attempt to show how God has accomplished this, and has given to the believer a couch upon which he can to his utmost length and yet find that the bed is long enough, andhow the Lord has given him a garment in which he may grow, but he shall always find that, broad as he shall become in themagnitude ofhis experience or of his sin, yet shall this covering be always broad enough to cover him.
I. Well, then, let us take the first figure. The bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it. MEN TRY, THEN,TO MAKE BEDS ON WHICH THEIR SOULS MAY REST. One of the most uncomfortable things in the world, I should think, would be aspare bed-a bed so spare that a man should not have room stretch himself on it. I cannot conceive how miserable a poor wretchmust be who would be condemned to seek an unresting rest, an uneasy ease on a couch shorter than hisbody. But that is just the condition of all men while they are seeking a rest anywhere else but in the "rest that remainethfor the people of God." With reference to a man's present aims, and present attainments, all that he can ever get on earth is a bed shorter than that he can stretch himself on it.Then, in the next place, we shall notice as to the future world, that all that man can do, if we come to consider it, is toolittle to give ease to the heart.
First then as to the present world, how many beds are there of marks own invention. One man has made himself a bedstead ofgold; the pillars thereof are of silver, the covering thereof is of Tyrian purple, the pillows are filled with down, such as onlymuch fine gold could buy him; the hangings he hath embroidered with threads of gold and silver, and the curtains are drawnupon rings of ivory. Lo, this man hath ransacked creation for luxuries, and invented tohimself all manner of sumptuous delights. He gets unto himself broad acres and many lands; he adds house to house, andfield to field; he digs, he toils, he labors, he is in hopes that he shall get enough, a sufficiency, a satisfactory inheritance.He proceeds from enterprise to enterprise, he invests his money in one sphere of labor, and then another. He attempts to multiplyhis gold, until it gets beyond all reckoning. He becomes a merchant prince, a millionaire, and he says unto himself;'Soul, take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry; thou hast much goods laid up for many years." Do you mat envy this manhis bed? Are there not some of you, whose only object in life is to get such a couch for yourselves? You say, "He has well-featheredhis nest; would to God that I could do the same for myself!" Ah, but do you know that this bed is shorter than that he canstretch himself upon it? If you cast yourself upon it for a moment, the bed is long enough for you, but itis not long enough for him. I have often thought that many a man's riches would be sufficient for me, but they are not sufficient for him. If he makes them his God, and seeks in in them his happiness, you never find the man has money enough, his lands are stilltoo narrow and his estate too small. When he begins to stretch himself, he finds there is something wanted; if the bed couldonly be made a little longer, then, he thinks, he could be quiet and have room enough. But whenthe bed is lengthened, he finds he has grown longer, too, and when his fortune has grown as big as the bedstead of Og, king of Bashan, even then he finds hecannot lie upon it easily. Nay, we read of one man who stretched himself along the whole world which he had conquered; buthe found there was me room, and he began to weep because there were not other worlds to conquer. One would have thought alittle province would have been enough for him to rest in. Oh, no; so big is man when hestretches himself, that the whole world does not suffice him. Nay, if God should give to the avaricious all the minesof Peru, all the glittering diamonds of Golconda, all the wealth of worlds, and if he were then to transmute the stars intogold and silver, and make us emperors of an entire universe till we should talk of constellations as men talk of hundreds,yea, and talk of universes as often talk of thousands, even then the bed would not be long enough whereon we might stretchourever-lengthening desires. The soul is wider than creation, broader than space; give it all, it would be still unsatisfied,and man would not find rest. You say, "That is strange: if I had a little more I should be very well satisfied." You makea mistake: if you are not content with what you have you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. "Nay," says one, "I shouldbe." You do not know yourself. If you have fixed your affection on the things of this world, that affection is like ahorse-leech; it cries, "Give! give!" It will suck, suck, suck to all eternity, and still cry, "Give, give!" and thoughyou give it all, it has not gotten enough. The bed, in fact, "is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it."
Let us look in another direction. Other men have said. "Well. I do not care for gold and silver; thank God I have no avarice."But they have been ambitious. "Oh," says one, "it I might be famous, what would I not do? Oh, if my name might be handed down to posterity, as having donesomething, and having been somebody, a man of note, how satisfied would I be!" And the man has so acted that he has at lastmade for himself a bed of honor. He has become famous. There isscarce a newspaper which does not record his name. His name is become a household word; nations listen to his voice; thousandsof trumpets proclaim his deeds. He is a man, and the world knows it, and stamps him with the adjective "great:" he is called"a great man." See how soft and downy is his bed. What would some of you give to rest upon it! He is fanned to sleep by thebreath of fame, and the incense of applause smokes in his chamber. The world waits to refresh him with renewed flattery.Oh, would you not give your ears and eyes if you might have a bed like that to rest upon. But did you ever read the historyof famous men, or hear them tell their tale in secret? "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown," even though it be thelaurel coronet of honor. When the man is known, it is not enough; he asks for wider praise. There was a time when the approbationof a couple of old women was a fame to him; now the approbation of ten thousand is nothing. He talks of men as if they werebut flocks of wild asses and what he looked up to once as a high pinnacle is now beneath his feet. He must go higher andhigher, and higher, though his head is reeling, though his brain is whirling, though his feet are slipping, he must go higher.He has done a great thing; he must do more. He seems to stride across the world; he must leap further yet, for the world willnever believe a man famous unless he constantly outdoes himself. He must not only do a great thing to-day, but he must doagreater thing to-morrow, the next day a greater still, and pile his mountains one upon another until he mounts the veryOlympus of the demigods. But suppose he gets there, what does he say? "Oh, that I could go back to my cottage, that I mightbe all unknown, that I might have rest with my family and be quiet. Popularity is a care which I never endured until now,a trouble that I never guessed. Let me lose it all; let me go back." He is sick of it; for the fact is, that man never canbesatisfied with anything less than the approbation of heaven; and until conscience gets that, all the applause of senatesand of listening princes, would be a bed shorter than a man could stretch himself upon it.
There is another bed on which man thinks he could rest. There is a watch, a painted harlot, who wears the richest gems inher ears and a necklace of precious things about her neck. She is an old deceiver. She was old and shrivelled in the daysof Bunyan; she painted herself then, she paints now, and paint she will as long as the world endureth. And she gaddeth forth,and men think her young and fair and lovely, and desirable: her name is Madam Wanton. She keeps a housewherein; she feasteth men, and maketh them drunken with the wine of pleasure, which is as honey to the taste, but is venom to the soul. This witch, when she can, entices men into her bed. "There," shesays, "there, how daintily have I spread it!" It is a bed, the pillars whereof are pleasure; above is the purple of raptureand beneath is the soft repose of luxurious voluptuousness. Oh, what a bed is this! Solomon once laid in it, and many sincehis time have sought their rest there. Theyhave said, "Away with your gold and silver: let me spend it, that I may eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow I die.Tell me not of fame, I care not for it. I would sooner have the pleasures of life, or the joys of Bacchus, than the laurelof fame. Let me give myself up to the intoxication of this world's delights, let me be drowned in the butt of Burgundy ofthis world's joys." Have you ever seen such men as that? I have seen many and wept over them, and I know some now, they arestretchingthemselves on that bed, and trying to make themselves happy. Byron is just a picture of such men, though he outdid others.What a bed was that he stretched for himself. Was ever libertine more free in his vices? was ever sinner more wild in hisblasphemy? was ever poet more daring in his flights of thought? was ever man more injurious to his fellows than he? And yetwhat did Byron say? There is a verse which just tells you what he felt in his heart. The man had all that he wanted of sinfulpleasure, but here is his confession-
"I fly like a bird of the air,
In search of a home and a rest;
A balm for the sickness of care,
A bliss for a bosom unblest."
And yet he found it not. He had no rest in God. He tried pleasure till his eyes were red with it; he tried vice till his bodywas sick; and he descended into his grave a premature old man. If you had asked him, and he had spoken honestly, he wouldhave said, the bed was shorter than that he could stretch himself upon it. No, young man, you may have all the vices, andall the pleasure and mirth of this metropolis, and there is much to be found, of which I make no mentionhere, and when you have it all, you will find it does not equal your expectation nor satisfy your desires. When the devilis bringing you one cup of spiced wine, you will be asking him next time to spice it higher; and he will flavour it to yourfiery taste, but you will be dissatisfied still, until at last, if he were to bring you a cup hot as damnation, it would falltasteless on your palate. You would say, "Even this is tasteless to me, except in the gall, and bitter wormwood, and firethatit brings." It is so with all worldly pleasure: there is no end to it; it is a perpetual thirst. It is like the opiumeater; he eats a little, and he dreams such strange wonders; and he wakes, and where are they? Such dreamers, when awake,look like dead men, with just animation enough to enable them to crawl along. The next time, to get to their elysium, theymust take more opium, and the next time more and more, and all the while, they are gradually going down an inclined planeinto theirgraves. That is just the effect of human pleasure, and all worldly sensual delights; they only end in destruction; andeven while they last, they are not wide enough for our desire, they are not large enough for our expectations, "for the bedis shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it."
Now think, for a moment, of the Christian, and see the picture reversed. I will suppose the Christian at his very worst state,though there is no reason why I should do so. The Christian is not necessarily poor; he may be rich. Suppose him poor. Hehas not a foot of land to call his own; he lives by the day, and he lives well, for his Master keeps a good cupboard for him,and furnishes him with all he requires. He has nothing in this world except the promise of God withregard to the future. The wordly man laughs at the promise, and says it is good for nothing. Now look at the Christian;he says,-
"There's nothing round this spacious globe,
Which suits my large desires;"
To nobler joys than nature give,
Thy servant, Lord, aspires.
What, poor man, are you perfectly content? "Yes," says he, "it is my Father's will that I should live in poverty. I am perfectlycontent." "Well, but is there nothing else you wish for?" "Nothing," says he, "I have the presence of God; I have delightin communion with Christ; 'I know that there is laid up for me a crown of life that fadeth not away,' and more I cannot want.I am perfectly content; my soul is at rest." In the Christian religion there is a rest that no onecan enjoy elsewhere. Oh! I can say as in the sight of God, my soul is perfectly at rest. "I know that my Redeemer liveth,and that he shall stand at the latter-day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my fleshshall I see God." I know that my sins are forgiven, that I am accepted in the beloved. I know there is nothing more that Iwant except what I have already, for Christ is all and more than all. What can my soul desire more? As for temporals I canleavethem in my Father's hands; as for spirituals I can leave them also with him. "My soul is even as a wearied child," restingon its mother's breast. Nothing more I can ask. And now let me stretch myself upon this bed. Let me think of the largest desirethat heart ever had, and I find it not at all greater than this bed. What do I ask for? I ask for immortality, I have it here.What do I pant for? I pant for ceaseless, boundless bliss, I have it here. I pant to be God's child, I have it here. Ipant to be rich to all intents of bliss, I have the promise here, and I shall have the fruition of it hereafter. I longfor perfection. Is that a stretch indeed? And that I have, "perfect in Christ Jesus." I have the promise that "the Lord will perfect that which concerneth me." Oh! I wish youwould try and stretch yourselves a moment. Come, let your spirits stretch themselves with all their might. Put out your handstill they grasp the east and west, and let your head and feet lie ateither pole of this round world, and is there not room for you in the promise, room in the gospels Nay, reach into thefar-off eternity, and let your soul desire the utmost it can conceive, and still the bed is long enough:-"He is able to doexceeding abundantly above what you can ask or even think." Now, try and think your best, and he shall exceed it; come andask your most, and God shall give you more. Oh! blessed is the sleep of the Christian. He sleeps in a bed supported by theeverlasting arms of the Saviour. He sleeps there fanned by the breath of the Spirit, and knowing that when he wakes uphe shall wake up in the likeness of his Saviour, in the likeness of his God.
Thus, I think I have given you some idea of the meaning of this text, "The bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himselfon it." Now, just for a moment think of this bed in the sense of another world. And here we may say of all the sinner's hope, that it is a bed shorter than that he can stretch himself upon it, Sinner,thou that art without God and without Christ, ask thyself this question, What is thy bed for eternity? What is thy rest inanother world?Perhaps, that is a question you have never asked yourself. Ask it now. "Oh," says one, "I am no worse than my neighbors."Is that bed long enough for eternity? Nay, assuredly not. "Nay," says one, "I care not how I shall fare, I shall take my fate."And is that long enough for eternity? You cannot draw any consolation from that when you stand at God's bar. "Nay," says another,"I won't think about it." And is that long enough for eternity? "Ah," cries another, "I go to church, and chapel, andso forth, and that will do." Is that long enough for eternity? You have now to stretch yourself. Let conscience strainyou, let death put you on the rack, and pull you out a little, and the bed is not long enough for you. You are obliged tofeel that you are uneasy. Nay, there is not a man out of Christ that is not uneasy at times. Harden your conscience as youmay, sometimes it will arouse you. Put Mr. Conscience down in a back street, so that the daylight cannot come to him, butyou cannotsilence him; he has a voice as loud as thunder, and sometimes he will awaken you. I do not care who the infidel is, orwhat he says: it is mere brag, there is nothing in it. Men who cannot fight are always very big before they come to the battle.So it is with the Infidel, the Atheist, the Socinian; they are very great men when they talk to us, but they know they havenone of the greatness that they pretend to; they have none really, for their own consciences cannot rest. I do affirm, again,that there is no man who has a solid peace, a perfect satisfaction in his own mind, but the man who believes in the LordJesus Christ, trusts him entirely for his soul's salvation, and puts his hopes and his expectations only in the Lord his God.That man has a bed that is large enough; though he were himself as tall as the heavens, and as broad as the earth.
II. Now for the second part of my text. MEN MUST HAVE A COVERING. And here we are told that there are some people who makea covering, but it is narrower than they can wrap themselves in it. There is one garment, friends, that never is too narrow,though the sinner be the hugest sinner that ever trod this earth, and that is the garment of the perfect righteousness ofour Lord Jesus Christ. Besides that, there is none other long enough or broad enough.
Now, there are some sinners that think they have clothed themselves, when they have only made for themselves a nightcap. Don'tsmile-that's a fact. There are spiritual nightcaps to be bought in London. "What is that?" says one. Well it is woven in theloom of hyper-calvinism. It is high doctrine cut off from God's Word, taken away from its connection, taken altogether awayfrom that part of divine truth with which we have most to do as sinners, and it is made into anantidote for all the twitchings of man's conscience, and into a soporific whereby souls are sent to sleep, preparatoryto their being cast into the arms of Satan. Men get into their heads a doctrinal opinion. That opinion is right, true, good-Iwill preach that opinion against any man; but men forget that opinions are not evidences of salvation if the walk and conversationare not right. They read, for instance, such a passage as this: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that arein Christ Jesus." Well, they say, "I am in Christ Jesus; there is no condemnation for me!" they put that on their heads,they go to sleep in it, and they think they are covered, because they have simply wrapped this false covering about theirheads. They have a blindfold about their eyes, and they cannot see their nakedness, and therefore, they think there is nosuch thing. Oh, I am grieved to think that there are men who flatter that craving of corrupt nature, after something thatis notsalvation by Christ. You may as easily be destroyed by trusting in good doctrine as by trusting in good works; for recollect,beloved, that believing right, will no more save you, (if it is only believing right doctrine) than doing right will saveyou. It is believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and receiving his spirit and being made like unto him, is the only salvationthat will stand the test of the day of judgment. I used to have a man sitting in front of the gallery, (not in this chapel,)but he used always to nod his head when I was preaching a doctrine; and I remember once, I thought I would cure that oldgentleman of nodding his head, for he was about as bad a rascal as ever lived. Whenever I preached about justification, downwent his head. Whenever I preached about imputed righteousness, down went his head. I was a dear man, no doubt about that;and so I thought I would cure him, and make his head keep still for once. So I remarked "there is a great deal of differencebetween God electing you, and your electing yourself, a vast deal of difference between God justifying you by his spirit,and your justifying yourself by a belief that you are justified when you are not; and this is the difference;" said I to theold man, who then put me down for a rank Arminian; "you who have elected yourselves, and justified yourselves, you have nomarks of the Spirit; you have no evidence of piety; you are not holy; you live in sin; you can walk as sinners walk; you havetheimage of the devil upon you, and yet you think you are the children of God." And, now, I say to any here present who areindulging in the same abominable hypocrisy, this is a spiritual delusion whereby many believe a lie; and the time will comewhen some of us will have to speak as sharply against men who preach doctrine without practice, as we have to preach againstthose who preach not the doctrine of free, sovereign, distinguishing grace. High doctrine will never cover you. It will onlycover you head; it is a logical covering, made of the right sort of stuff; but it is only a headpiece, and that is nota complete covering for the naked man.
Now, again, there are some other people who are not content with that. They do not care particularly about this covering forthe head, but they think they will get a pair of slippers, and thus cover their nakedness. "What do you mean by that?" saysone. Well, good works. "Ah!" they say, "those doctrinal people, they look to the head; I don't care about the head, I shalllook to the feet." And so they look to the feet, and they make themselves very decent sort of people,too. They keep the Sabbath, they frequent the house of God, they read the Bible, they say a form of prayer, and they tryto be honest, sober, and so forth. Very right. I do not say a word against slippers, only that they are not a good coveringfor the whole man I do not say a word against good slippers; good works are very well, but they are not sufficient. Good worksare like a pair of shoes, but do not let a man think a pair of shoes can become wide enough to cover his whole body. Suchmenare deluded. They think, if their outward walks and conversation is good, and right, and proper, that, therefore, theirwhole nakedness is covered. Oh! never delude yourselves into such an idea as that. Though you walk in the commandments ofthe Lord, blameless in the eyes of all men, yet so long as sin is in your heart, and the past sin of your life is unforgiven,you stand helpless, unclothed souls, in the estimation of God, and your garment is too narrow that you may wrap yourself init. Ihave seen some poor souls trying to wrap themselves up in good works, and they were not long enough. "Oh," says one, "comehere, and I will tie on a bit for you." And so he brings out a yard of good old stuff that is called "Baptism," and he taggson that. "Stop," he says, by-and-bye, "I will bring out something else made by a Bishop, called "Confirmation," and anotheryard is put on. "Wait awhile!" says the man, "you shall have a yard of something else;" and then there is a yard of what iscalled "Communion," or "Sacrament," put on. "Now, hold hard; you know the Catechism, and say it often; you know the prayersproper to be used at sea, on the land, and the prayers for weddings, baptisms, and churchings; and now," say they, "by degreesthe garment will be made long enough to go round you." I have seen the poor souls tug and pull it, to make both ends meet,but they could not. I could tell you the experience of a member of this church. She says, "I attended a place of worshipregularly, and tried to work out a righteousness for myself. I could not do it, At last I took to attending daily servicein the Puseyite Church. I became the most righteous over-much that you could suppose a person to be. I was never satisfied.I tried sacraments, fasting, private prayer-never good enough; never could get up to the mark; never felt that the garmentwas broad enough in which I could wrap myself." No, and you never will. All the good works in the world, and all the ceremonies,and all the praises of men, and all the almsgiving, cannot make a covering broad enough in which to wrap yourself. ShallI tell you what is sufficient? It is the garment that is "without seam, woven from the top throughout;" a garment woven bythe bleeding hands of Jesus, and then dyed in his own blood. If by faith you can put this garment on, it is broad enough tocover you; though you were wide as giant Goliath, and though your heads reached to the very clouds, it should be long enoughforall your needs.
So you see that these coverings which men have sought for are not sufficient. Now, there are some people who are not veryparticular about the head, or the feet, but they come nearer the mark-they have been more particular about the loins. Theygird themselves with a little garment. Their religion is to think. they like to sit at home and think over the Scripture,to think over certain doctrinal particulars, aml meditate upon them. They think, for instance, one church isnot right, and they leave that and join another. But they find that is not right; they tithe the mint there, but theydo not tithe the cummin. And they go to another, where they tithe the cummin, but where they do not fast six days in the week.The religion of such a person as this, is the religion of picking holes in other people's religion. Do you say, "Are thereany people of that sort?" Yes, I know several of them; they are very good souls, if you estimate them by their own opinion,but ifyou estimate them by the law and by the statutes of God, you will find them different. They think that all they need todo is simply to feel that they are conscientious in what they are doing. It is very proper and right that they should be conscientious.I am not going to speak against the garments round the loins, they are very good; I only speak against a man thinking thatis enough. I do not speak against their nightcaps or slippers, or against the garment round the loins, they are all goodin their places; I only speak of putting these instead of the complete raiment of Christ. You may be baptised and re-baptised;you may go from one sect to another, and secede, and secede, and you will be none the better unless you are clothed in thematchless, spotless, seamless righteousness of the Lord.
Now, let us bring forth that robe, and let us stand in that. What Jesus did, and what Jesus suffered, is the inheritance ofthe believer. Now, let the believer be never so full of sin, what Jesus suffered covers all his sin. Let him be never so fullof want, the fullness of Jesus supplies it all. Let him be never so loathesome in his own sight, the beauty of Christ makeshim comely. Let him be cast down in his own experience, the exaltation of Christ makes him to sittogether with him in heavenly places. There are times when the convinced sinner grows great in sin. He feels himself asif he were bloated with iniquity; but even then the garment of Christ is wide enough to wrap him about. Sometimes he growsso tall in his sin, he feels as if he were proud as Lucifer; he casts the cowl of the Saviour's righteousness over his head,and it covers him even then. His feet sometimes seem to tread the very bottom of the ocean, but the long robe of the Saviour'srighteousness sweeps the bottom of the sea when the feet of the believer are standing there. All is longer, all is higher,all is broader than all the height, depth, and length, and breadth of our backslidings, our iniquities and sins.
What a glorious thing, then it is to be a Christian, to have faith in Christ, to have the Isaac born in our hearts, the newnature put there. Come my soul, take thy rest, the great High Priest has full atonement made. Thou hast much goods laid up,not for many years, but for eternity; take thine case; eat spiritual things; drink wine on the lees and be merry; for it cannotbe said of thee, "to-morrow thou shalt die," for thou shalt never die, for "thy life is hid withChrist in God." Thou art no fool to take thy ease and rest, for this is legitimate ease and rest, the rest which the Godof Sabaoth hath provided for all his people. And then, O Christian! march boldly to the river of death, march calmly up tothe throne of judgment, enter placidly and joyfully into the inheritance of thy Lord, for thou hast about thee an armor thatcan keep thee from the arrows of death, a wedding garment that makes thee fit to sit down at the banquet of the Lord. Thouhastabout thee a royal robe that makes thee a fit companion even for Jesus, the king of kings, when he shall admit thee intohis secret chambers, and permit thee to hold holy and close fellowship with him. I cannot resist quoting that verse of thehymn,-
"With thy Saviour's garment on,
Thou'rt holy as the Holy One."
That is the sum and substance of it all. And on this bed let us take our rest, and during this week let us make Christ's workour only garment, and we shall find it long enough, and broad enough, for us to wrap ourselves up in it.