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worthy to suffer for His sake.

The same grace of patient endurance, of thank-
ful, rejoicing acquiescence in the severer discipline
of our Heavenly Father's will, has shone forth in
the saints of every age. Circumstances may vary,
and the trials of different periods of the Church,
as well as of its different members, mav be diverse ;
but still it stands an unalterable law of our mili-
tant condition : " In the world ye shall have tri-
bulation V

Like Israel in the wilderness, we " are not yet
come to the rest, and to the inheritance which the
Lord our God giveth us V " And there should be
no greater comfort to Christian persons, than to be
made like unto Christ, by suffering patiently ad-

1 Isa. liii. 3. ' Acts xx. 23. 3 Rom. v. 3.

4 John xvi. 33. * Deut. xii. 9.

ANON. 153

versities, troubles, and sicknesses : for He Himself
went not up to joy, but first He suffered pain ;
He entered not into His glory before He was cru-
cified. So truly our way to eternal joy is to suffer
here with Christ ; and our door to enter into
eternal life, is gladly to die with Christ, that we
may rise again from death, and dwell with Him in
everlasting life 1 ." Now, we sow in tears; the
time will come when we shall reap in joy.

1. If we would attain the grace of patience under
suffering, let us seek first to cultivate a deep sense of
our own sinfulness. " Wherefore doth a living man
complain, a man for the punishment of his sins 2 ? "
" Know this, that God exacteth of thee less than
thine iniquity deserveth V A true sight of the
corruption of our nature, a conviction of ourannu-
merable departures from God, our quenching of
His Holy Spirit, our insensibility to His love, our
earthliness and vanity ; the wide extent of evil in
heart and life, in word and deed, which a faithful
self-examination presents to us ; all this should
make us rather wonder that God so lightly afflicts
us, and that the rod of His displeasure does not
more severely visit His wayward and disobedient

2. Let us consider the purpose of God in afflict-
ing us. " By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be

1 Office of " Visitation of the Sick."

2 Lam. iii. 39.

3 Job xi. 6.

154 ANON.

purged, and this is all the fruit, to take away his
sin '." God knows that without holiness, we can
have no true happiness : that our hearts can find
no rest till they are drawn upwards, and centered
in Him ; and therefore He appoints us a continual
process of purification and refining. Sometimes
there is the furnace of exceeding sharp affliction ;
long continued bodily suffering ; days and nights,
and months and years, of weariness and anguish :
the desire of our eyes taken away with a stroke ;
then the inward cross of mental trial, the felt
burden of indwelling corruption, the thorn in the
flesh, the assaults of Satan, and all the various ills
and vexations, trials and disappointments, of this
mortal state. Yet all this is to be welcomed as
blessing ; yea, it is to be " counted all joy " by the
heart that knows its God. Every step of sanc-
tified suffering is a step nearer to the crown of
glory. It is a lesson learned in that school of
obedience, in which as man our blessed Lord Him-
self was perfected ; it is an increased conformity
to the meek and patient Lamb of God ; it is a
precious medicine from the unerring Physician of
our souls : it is a token of our Heavenly Father's
special love, refining from dross, and polishing
from corruption, the blood-bought jewels of His
grace. God is putting to the test (it may be of
fiery trial) the faith which He Himself has given ;
thus grace is strengthened and exercised, and the

1 Isn. xxvii. 9.

ANON. 155

stone is " made ready " for its place in the hea-
venly temple.

3. Let us habitually contemplate the sufferings
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Light,
indeed, ought every trial of ours to appear, when
we think of Him who could say, "Is there any
sorrow like unto my sorrow * ? " In what woe or
pain, whether of body or mind, can we not find
in our faithful High Priest the sympathy of an
infinite sufferer ? And all this for our sakes ! O
my Saviour, let me be dumb like Thee, and never
open my mouth in complaining, whatever be the
bitter cup Thou givest me to drink ; for it can only
be a cup of blessing to thy redeemed child, for
whom Thou hast borne the curse, and exhausted
the cup of wrath and indignation. Let me not
shrink from any fellowship with Thee in suffering,
who for me didst " endure the cross, despising the
shame '," and art now preparing for me joys which
"eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it
entered into the heart of man to conceive J ."

4. Let us dwell much on the love and mercy of
God, exhibited towards us in redemption. "While
we do this, we cannot be greatly moved by the
sufferings of time. God has not spared His own
Son for me. Shall I then think that He deals
hardly in taking away any creature of earth, or in
depriving me of any gourd in whose shelter I was
glad ? He has granted me spiritual healing ; shall

1 Lam. i. 12. Heb. xii. 2. 3 1 Cor. ii. 9.

156 ANON.

I complain of bodily pain ? He has given me the
Holy Ghost the Comforter; shall I mourn over
the withered joys of earth ? He has given me the
bright hope of an everlasting home in glory ; shall
I count it hard to be a pilgrim and a stranger
during a few short days or years in this thorny
wilderness ? No ; rather let my heart be soaring
upwards to the source of its hidden life, in adoring
gratitude to the God of my salvation, who pitied
me in my low estate ; " for His mercy endureth
for ever ! "

5. Let us live in a spirit of prayer. Suffering
times have ever been praying times with the saints
of God. " In my distress I cried unto the Lord,
and He heard me '," said the Psalmist. Hezekiah
in his sickness " prayed and wept sore V Our
blessed Saviour, " being in agony, prayed more
earnestly*." There is the relief of utterance in
pouring out our complaint before God. There is
the consolation of feeling that we are not alone in
our sorrows. Man may grow weary of us, but
not so our sympathizing Lord. He is touched
with the feeling of our infirmities, and His ear is
ever open to our cry. Ejaculatory prayer is a
blessed remedy against sudden temptations to im-
patience : it lifts the soul above its actual con-
dition ; it lays hold on the strength of the Ever-
lusting, brings us into communion with Him who
is our peace, and calms the troubled spirit. Es-

1 Ps. cxx. 1. 1 Kings xx. 2, 3. J Luke xxii. 44.

ANON. 157

pecially should we seek the grace of patience and
long-suffering as a fruit of the Holy Ghost, for it
is not a fruit that grows on nature's branch. The
flesh is all impatience and discontent, and can
only be subdued to the spirit by the mighty power
of God.

6. Let us beware of looking on any trial with
the eye of sense. Faith in the midst of suffering
is like the tree cast into the bitter waters of Marah,
which made them sweet. But sense only adds
fuel to the flame of impatience. God is present
with the soul when faith is in exercise : it is left
to its own utter weakness when sight prevails.
Faith is content that God should order and ap-
point every event and circumstance : sense would
blindly dictate to Him, and choose a path .of ease
and self-indulgence.

7. Let us consider the shortness of time, and
dwell deeply on the thought of eternity and of the
coming of Christ. "Yet a little while, and he
that shall come will come, and will not tarry V
Then will He give rest to the weary, and consola-
tion to the sorrowful. Their peace shall be as
a river, ever flowing ; they shall have entered into
" the joy of their Lord J ," a joy that fears no vicis-
situde. Their sun shall never more go down, nor
shall the passing shadow of a cloud obscure the
bright shining of its rays.

And let us remember, that even now God fore-
1 Heb. x. 37. 2 Matt. xxv. 21.

158 ANON.

knows the weight and duration of our trials. He
sees the end from the beginning, and the happy
issue out of all our afflictions which He has in
store for us. It may be very, very soon, "0
thou afflicted with tempest, and not comforted!
that He will lay thy stones with fair colours, and
thy foundations with sapphires '." " Thou shalt
forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that
pass away V Surely there is an end, may be said
of every thing, save of the rest 'that remaineth for
the people of God.

Suffering seems long and weary, and for the
present grievous ; yet it is but a little moment, a
twinkling of an eye, compared with the everlasting
inheritance of the saints in light, when the days
of their mourning shall be ended. " When there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain, for the for-
mer things are passed away V " All the days of
my appointed time will I wait, till my change
come V " For I reckon that the sufferings of
this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory that shall be revealed in us V


11. In affliction, see the necessity of it, and be
humbled ; see the use of it, and improve it ; see

1 Isa. liv. 11. - Job i. 1. 16. 3 Rev. xxi. 4.

4 Job xiv. 14. * Rom. viii. 18.

BLUNT. 159

the love there is in it, and be thankful. I know
of no greater blessing than health, except pain
and sickness. T. ADAM.


You who are sufferers, whether from sickness, or
sorrow, or sin ; and patient sufferers for the Lord's
sake, He says to each of you, " I know how thou
hast borne, i. e. suffered, and hast patience, and
for my sake hast laboured, and not fainted." (Rev.
ii. 3.) Your Lord has known many a secret trial,
many an hour of sorrow and affliction, through
which you have passed, and which the world has
never known. Your Lord has seen your domestic
difficulties, your personal troubles, your moments
of secret anguish, perhaps unrevealed even to your
dearest friend ; for there are sorrows which ought
not and- cannot be communicated, but to God
alone; and yet you have not fainted, but per-
severed, and for His name's sake hast patience.
Of all these He says, in the language of commen-
dation, " I know " them ; I know your every
prayer for guidance, your every effort to bear
patiently and contentedly what I have laid upon
you, and to profit by the visitation; to hear the
rod, and Him who appointed it ; your every en-
deavour against evil tempers and evil habits. All
these things, which man can never know, are known
and valued by me. How delightful is the reflec-


tion to the child of God, that we have to do with
One who judges not as sinners judge, and who
feels not as even the holiest friend on earth can
feel towards our patient endurance, our shorten-
ings, or our slow advancings, but who looks even
at the most feeble as children still; and while
those around may blame us that we have borne
our trials no better, and have advanced no farther
and no faster on the heavenward road, He, that
merciful Redeemer, commends us, that we are still
upon the road, and " have not fainted."



1 Pet. iv. 12, 13. "Think it not strange," for it
is not. Suit your thought to the experience and
verdict of all times, and to the warnings that the
Spirit of God hath given us in the Scriptures,
and our Saviour Himself from His own mouth,
and in the example which He showed in His own
person. But the point goes higher.

" Rejoice." Though we think not the suffer-
ings " strange," yet may we not well think that
rule somewhat strange, to rejoice in them ? No ;
it will be found as reasonable as the other, being
duly considered ; and it rests upon the same
ground which will bear both, " Inasmuch as ye
are partakers of the sufferings of Christ."


So, then, 1. Consider this twofold connected
participation of the sufferings of Christ, and of the
after- glory. 2. The present joy, even in suffer-
ings, springing from that participation.

I need not tell you that this communion in suf-
ferings is not in point of expiation, or satisfaction
to Divine justice ; which was the peculiar end of
the sufferings of Christ personal, but not of the
common sufferings of Christ mystical. " He bare
our sins in His own body on the tree ' ;" and in
bearing them, took them away : we bear His suf-
ferings, as His body united to Him by His Spirit.
Those sufferings which were His personal burden
we partake the sweet fruits of ; they are accounted
ours, and we are acquitted by them : but the en-
durance of them was His high and incommunicable
task, in which none at all were with Him. Our
communion in these, as fully completed by Him-
self in His natural body, is the ground of our com-
fort and joy in those sufferings that are completed
in His mystical body, the Church.

This is indeed our joy, that we have so light a
burden, so sweet an exchange ; the weight of sin
quite taken off our backs, and all bound on His
cross only ; and our crosses, the badges of our
conformity to Him, laid indeed on our shoulders,
but the great weight of them likewise held up by
His hand, that they overpress us not. These fires

1 1 Pet. ii. 2i.



of our trial may be corrective, and purgative of
the remaining power of sin, and they are so in-
tended ; but Jesus Christ alone, in the sufferings
of His own cross, was the burnt-offering, "the
propitiation for our sins."

Now, although He hath perfectly satisfied for
us, and saved us by His sufferings, yet this con-
formity to Him in the way of suffering is most
reasonable. Although our holiness doth not stand
in point of law, nor come in at all in the matter
of justifying us, yet we are called and appointed
to holiness in Christ, as assimilating us to Him,
our glorious Head ; and we do really receive it
from Him, that we may be like Him. So these
our sufferings bear a very congruous likeness to
Him, though in no way as an accession to His in
expiation, yet, as a part of His image ; and there-
fore the Apostle says, even in this respect, that we
are " predestinated to be conformed to the image
of His Son." (Rom. viii. 29.)

Is it fit that we should not follow where our
Captain led, and went first, but that He should
lead through rugged, thorny ways, and we pass
about to get a way through flowery meadows ? As
His natural body shared with His head in His suf-
ferings, so ought His body mystical to share with
Him, as its head, the buffetings and spittings on
His face, the thorny crown on His head, a pierced
side, nailed hands and feet. If we be parts of


Him, can we think that a body finding nothing
but ease, and bathing in delight, can agree to a
Head so tormented ? I remember what that pious
duke said at Jerusalem, when they offered to
crown him king there, " Nolo auream, ubi Christus
spincam." " No crown of gold, where Jesus was
crowned with thorns."

This is the way we must follow, or else resolve
to leave Him ; the way of the cross is the royal
way to the crown. He said it, and reminded
them of it again, that they might take the deep
impression of it : " Remember what I said unto
you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If
they have persecuted me, they will also persecute
you ; if they have kept my saying, they will keep
yours also." (John xv. 20.) And particularly in
point of reproaches : " If they have called the
master Beelzebub, how much more shall they call
them of his household ?" (Matt. x. 25.) A bitter
scoff, an evil name, reproaches for Christ, why do
these fret thee ? They were a part of thy Lord's
entertainment while He was here. Thou art even
in this a " partaker of His sufferings," and in this
way He is bringing thee forward to the partaking
of His glory. That is the other thing.

"When his glory shall be revealed." Now that

He is hidden, little of His glory is seen. It was

hidden while He was on earth, and now it is hidden

in heaven, where He is ; and as for His body here,

M 2


His Church, it hath no pompous dress, nor out-
ward splendour ; and the particular parts of it, the
saints, are poor despised creatures, the very refuse
of men in outward respects and common esteem.
So He Himself is not seen ; and His followers, the
more they are seen and looked on by the world's
eye, the more their meanness appears. True, as in
the days of His humiliation, some rays were break-
ing forth through the veil of His flesh and the cloud
of His low despicable condition ; thus it is some-
times with His followers : a glance of His image
strikes the very eye of the world, and forces some
acknowledgment and a kind of reverence in the
ungodly ; but commonly Christ and His followers
are covered with all the disgraces and ignominies
the world can put on them. But there is a day
wherein He will appear, and it is at hand ; and
" He shall be glorious, even in His despised
saints," and "admired in them that believe."
(2 Thess. i. 10.) How much more in the bright-
ness of His own glorious person !

In the mean time, He is hidden, and they are
hidden in Him. " Our life is hid with Christ in
God." (Col. iii. 3.) The world sees nothing of
His glory and beauty, and even His own see not
much ; they have but a little glimmering of Him,
and of their own happiness in Him ; know little
of their own high condition, and what they are
born to. But in that bright day, He shall shine


forth in His royal dignity, and " every eye shall see
Him V and be overcome with His splendour. Ter-
rible shall it be to those that formerly despised
Him and His saints, but to them it shall be the
gladdest day that ever arose upon them, a day
that shall never set or be benighted ; the day they
so much longed and looked out for, the full ac-
complishment of all their hopes and desires. Oh,
how dark were all our days without the hope of
this day !

" Then," says the Apostle, " ye shall rejoice with
exceeding joy 2 ;" and to the end you may not fall
short of that joy in the participation of glory, fall
not back from a cheerful progress in the commu-
nion of those sufferings that are so closely linked
with it, and will so surely lead unto it, and end in
it : for in this the Apostle's expression, this glory
and joy is set before them as the great matter of
their desires and hopes, and the certain end of
their present sufferings.

Now, upon these grounds, the admonition will
appear reasonable, and not too great a demand,
" to rejoice " even in " sufferings."

It is true that passage in the Epistle to the
Hebrews, chap. xii. ver. 11, opposes present afflic-
tion to joy. But, 1. If you mark, it is but in the
appearance, or outward visage. It seemeth not
to be matter of joy, but of grief. To look upon,

1 Kev. i. 7. 2 1 Pet, iv. 13.


it hath not a smiling countenance ; yet joy may
be under it. And, 2. Though to the flesh it is
what it seems grief, and not joy yet there may
be under it spiritual joy ; yea, the affliction itself
may help and advance that joy. 3. Through the
natural sense of it, there will be some alloy or
mixture of grief, so that the joy cannot be pure
and complete, but yet there may be joy even in it.
This, the Apostle here clearly grants : " Rejoice "
now "in" suffering, that you may "rejoice ex-
ceedingly after" it, "leaping for joy." Doubtless,
this joy at present is but a little parcel, a drop
of that sea of joy. Now it is joy, but more is
reserved. Then they shall leap for joy. Yet
even at present rejoice in " trial," yea, in " fiery
trial." This may be done. The children of God
are not called to so sad a life as the world imagines :
besides what is laid up for them in heaven, they
have, even here, their rejoicings and songs in their
distresses, as those prisoners had their psalms even
at midnight, after their stripes, and in their chains,
before they knew of a sudden deliverance. (Acts
xvi. 25.) True, there may be a darkness within,
clouding all the matter of their joy : but even that
darkness is the seed-time of after-joy : light is sown
in that darkness, and shall spring up ; and not
only shall they have a rich cr<jp at full harvest,
but even some first fruits of it here, in pledge of
the harvest.


And this they ought to expect, and to seek
after, with minds humble and submissive, as to
the measure and time of it, that they may be par-
takers of spiritual joy, and may by it be enabled
to go patiently, yea, cheerfully, through the tribu-
lations and temptations that lie in their way home-
ward : and for this end they ought to endeavour
after a more clear discerning of their interest in
Christ, that they may know they partake of Him ;
and so, that in suffering they are partakers of His
sufferings, and shall be partakers of His glory.

Many afflictions will not cloud and obstruct
this, so much as one sin ; therefore, if ye would
walk cheerfully, be most careful to walk holily.
All the winds about the earth make not an earth-
quake, but only that within.

Now, this joy is grounded on this communion,
1. in sufferings ; then, 2. in glory.

1. Even in sufferings themselves. It is a sweet,
a joyful thing, to be a sharer with Christ in any
thing. All enjoyments wherein He is not, are
bitter to a soul that loves Him, and all sufferings
with Him are sweet. The worst things of Christ
are more truly delightful than the best things of
the world ; His afflictions are sweeter than their
pleasures, His " reproach" more glorious than their
honours, and more rich than their treasures, as
Moses accounted them. (Heb. xi. 26.) Love de-
lights in likeness and communion, not only in


things otherwise pleasant, but in the hardest and
harshest things, which have not any thing in them
desirable, but only that likeness. So that this
thought is very sweet to a heart possessed with
this love. What does the world by its hatred
and persecutions, and revilings for the sake of
Christ, but make me more like Him, give me a
greater share with Him in that which He did so
willingly undergo for me ? " When He was sought
for to be made a king," as St. Bernard remarks,
" He escaped ; but when He was to be brought to
the cross, He freely yielded Himself." And shall
I shrink and creep back from what He calls me
to suffer for His sake ? Yea, even all my other
troubles and sufferings I will desire to have
stamped thus, with this conformity to the suffer-
ings of Christ, in the humble, obedient, cheerful
endurance of them, and the giving up my will to
my Father's.

The following of Christ makes any way pleasant.
His faithful followers refuse no march after Him,
be it through deserts, and mountains, and storms,
and hazards, that will affright self-pleasing easy
spirits. Hearts kindled and actuated with the
Spirit of Christ will " follow Him wheresoever He
goeth V

As He speaks it for warning to His disciples,
" If they persecuted me, they will also persecute


you ;" so He speaks it for comfort to them, and
sufficient comfort it is, " If they hate you, they
hated me before you." (John xv. 18. 20.)

2. Then add the other : see whither it tends.
" He shall be revealed in His glory," and ye shall
even overflow with joy in the partaking of that
glory : therefore rejoice now in the midst of all
your sufferings. Stand upon the advanced ground
of the promises and the covenant of grace, and by
faith look beyond this moment, and all that is in
it, to that day wherein " everlasting joy shall be
upon your heads," a crown of it, and sorrow and
mourning shall flee away. (Isa. li. 11.) Believe in
this day, and the victory is won. Oh ! that blessed
hope, well fixed and exercised, would give other
manner of spirits. What zeal of God would it
not inspire ! What invincible courage against all
encounters ! How soon will this pageant of the
world vanish that men are gazing on, these
pictures, and fancies of pleasures and honours,
falsely so called, and give place to the real glory
of the sons of God, when this blessed Son who is
God, shall be seen appearing in full majesty, and
all His brethren in glory with Him, all clothed in
their robes ! And if you ask, Who are they ?
Why "these are they who came out of great
tribulation, and have washed their robes in the
blood of the Lamb." (Rev. vii. 14.)



12. It is easy to say, Blessed be God in every
thing ; but where is the man that is always pleased
with God? T.ADAM.


" In all things it behoved Him to be made like

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