Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The divine rest

484 C. M.
The believer’s rest.

LORD, I believe a rest remains
   To all thy people known;
   A rest where pure enjoyment reigns,
   And thou art loved alone:

2 A rest where all our soul’s desire
   Is fix’d on things above;
   Where fear, and sin, and grief expire,
   Cast out by perfect love.

3 O that I now the rest might know,
   Believe, and enter in:
   Now, Saviour, now the power bestow,
   And let me cease from sin.

4 Remove this hardness from my heart;
   This unbelief remove :
   To me the rest of faith impart,—
   The Sabbath of thy love.
                        Charles Wesley
                        Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

<idle musing>
This marvelous hymn is based on the rest mentioned in Hebrews 3 and 4, which is intended to be experienced in this life, not just in the coming one. That was the driving force behind the Methodist Revival—heart holiness, a rest in the finished work of God. It wasn't a legalistic set of rules to follow—no whitewashed tomb for the Wesley brothers, they had already tried that—but a heart washed clean and made anew by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Coupled with that was their belief that a person should feel/experience the witness of the Spirit that they were a child of God. They were sure (as am I) that you cannot encounter the living God and not come away knowing it and having been changed.

Hmynary.org adds a fifth verse that is also worthwhile:

5 I would be Thine, Thou know'st I would,
And have Thee all my own;
Thee, O my all-sufficient Good!
I want, and Thee alone.
</idle musing>

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