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defy him to add none but the Christian can
add the triumphant conclusion, "Things to come
shall be mine." How blessed a prerogative of
every real follower of God. How marked the
superiority of the Christian. Are you through
Christ a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ ? and
do you ever ask, What will the coming times bring
with them? How much of moral, how much
of physical evil, how much of spiritual evil, lies
brooding, dark, and lowering, beneath their wings ?
I know not, I cannot know, what will happen ;
but of this I am assured, with a certainty which
nothing can destroy ; that He in whom I trust is
the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end ;
that He can and will control the last acts of His
providence, as surely and as mercifully as He has
.already done the first acts of His grace ; and that
He, even He, has declared that " things to come "
1 Luke xii. 19.


are mine, arranged for my happiness, sanctified to
my service, blessed to my present and eternal wel-
fare. Why then should I despond ? Why should
I even perplex myself? " Let the potsherds strive
with the potsherds of the earth ' ;" "let the dead
bury their dead 2 . " I will rest calmly and securely
in the promises, and in the power of my almighty
Saviour, for " all power is given unto Him in
heaven and in earth 3 ;" and what He has said, He
can, and therefore He will, assuredly bring to pass ;
and overrule the mightiest events which can ever
happen in the world, for the benefit even of me,
the poorest and most insignificant of His children.
Things past have not injured me, things present
do not injure me, things to come cannot injure
me ; this is the cool and dispassionate conviction
of my soul. How unspeakably great are the privi-
leges, how strong therefore should be the confi-
dence of the Christian !

Are any among you, however, disposed to add,
It is true, for I believe my Redeemer's promises,
things present and things to come, however
threatening and disastrous, are, and by the won-
derful workings of Plis providence and grace shall
be, my own ; but there is yet one enemy I dare
not face, there is one hour for which my faithless
heart still quakes : that hour is the hour which
shall for ever call me hence, that enemy is death.

1 Isa. xlv. 9. * Luke ix. 60. * Matt, xxviii. 19.


Be of good courage, brethren ; this constant in-
firmity of our nature has not been forgotten in
promised privileges. It might have been suffi-
cient to have included it in the " all things "
which are ours ; it might have contented our
hearts to know and to feel that if " things to
come " be ours, death must necessarily be one,
and therefore needed no separate enumeration ;
but, " He who came " expressly " to destroy him
that had the power of death, and deliver them
who, through fear of death, were all their life-
time subject to bondage l ," has not failed to speak,
even to our very weakness and our fears, upon
this deeply interesting point. He tells us dis-
tinctly, by the mouth of this holy Apostle, that
even " death " is ours ; ours not indeed to escape
from, (that would be a faithless and a coward
wish,) but ours to meet, ours to oppose, and ours
to conquer, in the strength and through the merits
of our Redeemer.

Yes, the time must arrive when what has
happened to all shall happen to you. " When
the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire
shall fail ; when the silver cord shall be loosed,
and the golden bowl be broken ; when the
dust shall return to the earth as it was, and
the spirit shall return unto God who gave it 2 ."
What is not the assurance worth, which can stand
> Heb. xi. 14, 15. * Ecclca. xii. 57.


against that hour ? which shall be calm, when all
around are agitated ; peaceful, when all around are
anxious, and enable you to say, " I know whom
I have believed, and am persuaded that He is
able to keep that which I have committed unto
Him against that day \" " My flesh and my heart
faileth ; " there is no promise that they shall do
otherwise, for they are of the earth, earthy " My
flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength
of my heart, and my portion for ever V Thus,
through the grace of your conquering Redeemer,
death will be yours, its sting drawn out, its ter-
rors quelled, its power for ever broken. And this
to the faintest and weakest believer among you,
as certainly and unquestionably as to the strongest
and most advanced. If you are indeed placed
upon a rock, though you stand but a single foot
above the highest limit of the waves, you are as
secure as he who stands ten thousand feet above
your head, and that rock must fall before your
life be perilled. So is it with the Rock of ages.
Whether life or death, or things present, or things
to come, all are yours, if you are Christ's, for
Christ is God's. H. BLUNT.

1. Cleave to the will of God, and turn with it
constantly, as the weathercock does with the
wind. T. ADAM.

1 2 Tim. i. 12. * Ps. Ixiii. 26.

48 ANON.


It behoves us to treat suffering, whether in our-
selves or others, in a much more solemn way
than the generality even of serious Christians are
wont to do. In itself it were a punishment for
sin, oppressive, hopeless ; through God's mercy in
Christ, it is His healing medicine, to burn out our
wounds, and purify us for His presence. All are
tokens of His presence ; the great Physician of our
souls, looking graciously upon our spots and sores,
checking our diseases ere they take deep root, or
cutting deeply and healthfully into our very souls,
if He have compassion upon us, when we have
deeply offended Him. All, from the most passing
pain of the body, to the most deep-seated anguish
of the soul, are messengers from Him: some
spread over life to temper our enjoyments, lest we
seek our joys here; some following closely upon
what is wrong; some gradually thickening upon
us, if we neglect the first warnings ; some coming
suddenly in an instant, to startle people out of
their lethargy and careless ways, and show them
that the life which they are wasting is an earnest
thing; some in the natural order of His provi-
dence, as the loss of parents and of children ; yet
all manifesting, if we will regard it, His fatherly
care, tempering our cup with pain and sorrow, as

AXOX. 49

He sees most needful for us : all, in their degree,
loosening our hold of this life ; all leading up
thitherward, where there shall be no pain ; all
humbling us, as being creatures who require it, and
deserve far more ; all teaching us to look into our-
selves, to see for what disease in us this medicine
has been sent.

All, then pain, sickness, weariness, distress,
languor, agony of mind and body, whether in
ourselves or others, is to be treated reverently,
seeing in it our Maker's hand passing over us,
fashioning, by suffering, the imperfect or decayed
substance of our souls. In itself, it were the earnest
of hell ; through His mercy in Christ, it is a puri-
fying for heaven. It is the cross changed from
the instrument of shame, the torture of malefac-
tors, into the source of life ; it is the cross applied
to us, washing away our filth by the spirit of
judgment, and the spirit of burning.

Every sorrow we meet with is a billow on this
world's troublesome sea, which we must cross upon
the cross, to bear us nearer to our home : we
may not then remain where we were ; we may
not, when God's " wave and storms have gone
over us," be what we were before ; we may and
must bear our parts in the world's duties, (but in
proportion to its heaviness, and the loudness of
God's warning voice in it,) not as we did in its
joys ; each trouble is meant to relax the world's


50 ANON.

hold over us, and our hold upon the world ; each
loss to make us seek our gain in heaven ; each be-
reavement to fix our hearts thither, whither we
hope the treasures lent us are removed ; each chas-
tisement to deepen our repentance for those sins
for which God has so chastened us. Sadder far
than the sight of any sorrow is it to see persons,
after sorrow, become in all outward show what
they were before ; even as the impassive waters
are troubled for awhile by the stone which severs
them, and then become calm and cold as here-
tofore ; sadder far, for it seems like casting aside
God's healing hand, and rising up from under it
when He is laying low. Rather, it is a Christian's
joy, and comfort, and peace, and health, when
God has laid him low, there to lie ; humble, in
proportion as God has humbled him ; to lie low at
the foot of His cross, trusting that, by the virtue
of that cross, He will raise up those who lie will-
ingly where He has placed them. It is well to
be there, where God wills ; and so, whatever it be,
sorrow bringing sin to remembrance, or agony for
past sin, or dread of judgment, it is our wisdom
not to vent it in excitement, much less to seek to
distract it or waste it, but to take it calmly home
to our bosoms, and treasure it there, jealously
watching lest we lose one drop of its wholesome
bitterness; not anxious to escape sorrow, but
anxious only not to lose its fruits. ANON.


2. In pain, sickness, trouble, methinks I hear
God say, Take this medicine, exactly suited to the
case, prepared and weighed by My own hands,
and consisting of the choicest drugs which heaven
affords. ANON.


" My son, give me thy heart V

Who can fathom the breadth, and length, and
depth of this one expression ? It seems to say,
" All that breathes within that heart is known to
me. I know how vulnerable, how ill prepared it
is to stand the shocks, and bear the assaults, of
such a world as it now lives in. I know the
sickening anguish, the deep distress, the killing
disappointments it will feel, if it vainly assays to
rest its sensibilities upon the creature, or to satisfy
its thirst at streams that are rapidly drying up.
That heart was made for me, and in me alone it
can be happy. I can lodge it where no shaft can
reach it. I can ' keep it safe as the apple of the
eye, and hide it under the shadow of my wings V
I can still its throbbings, calm its perturbations,
and turn its sorrow into joy. Out of me it must
wander without peace, for I am the haven where
it would be. My son, then, give me thy heart."


1 Prov. xxiii. 23. Ps. xvii. 8.

E 2



Take up thy portion, then, Christian soul, and
weigh it well, and learn to love it. Thou wilt
find, if thou art Christ's, in spite of what the
world fancies, that after all, even at this day,
endurance, in a special sense, is the lot of those
who offer themselves to be servants to the King
of Sorrows. There is an inward world, which
none see but those who belong to it : and though
the outside robe be many-coloured, like Joseph's
coat, inside it is lined with camels' hair, or sack-
cloth ; fitting those who desire to be one with Him
who fared hardly in the wilderness, in the moun-
tain and on the sea. There is an inward world
into which they enter who come near to Christ,
though to men in general they seem the same as
before. The} 7 hold the same place as before in
the world's society ; their employments are the
same, their ways, their comings in, and their goings
out. If they were high in rank, they are still high ;
if they were in active life, they are still active ; if
they were wealthy, they still have wealth. They
have still great friends, powerful connexions,
ampje resources, fair name, in the world's eye ;
but if they have drunk of Christ's cup, and tasted
the bread of His table in sincerity, it is not with
them as in times past. A change has come over
them, unknown indeed to themselves, except in


its effects ; but they have a portion in destinies
which other men have not ; and as having des-
tinies, they have conflicts also. They drank what
looked like a draught of this world, but it asso-
ciated them in hopes and fears, trials and pur-
poses, above this world. They came as for a bless-
ing, and they have found a work. They are sol-
diers in Christ's army ; they fight against " things
that are seen,'"' and they have " all these things
against them V To their surprise, as time goes
on, they find that their lot is changed. They find
that, in one shape or other, adversity happens to
them. One blow falls, they are startled ; it passes
over, it is well ; they expect nothing more. An-
other comes ; they wonder. " Why is this ? " they
ask ; they think that the first should be their
security against the second ; they bear it how-
ever, and it passes too. Then a third comes ;
they also murmur : they have not yet mastered
the great doctrine, that endurance is their portion.
0, simple soul, is it not the law of thy being
to endure, since thou earnest to Christ ? Why
earnest thou, but to endure? Why didst thou
taste His heavenly feast, but that it might work in
thee ? Why didst thou kneel beneath His hand,
but that He might leave on thee the print of His
wounds ? Why wonder then, that one sorrow
does not buy off the rest ? Does one drop of rain
1 Gen. xlii. 36.


absorb the second ? Does the storm cease because
it has begun? Understand thy place in God's
kingdom ; and rejoice, not complain, that in thy
day thou hast thy lot with prophets and apostles.
Judge not by appearance, but be sure that
even when things seem to brighten and smile
upon God's true servants, there is much within
to try them, though you see it not. Of old times
they wore clothing of hair and sackcloth under
rich robes. Men do not observe this custom now-
a-days ; but be quite sure still that there are as
many sharp distresses underneath the visible garb
of things as if they did. Many a secret ailment
or scarcely observed infirmity exercises him who
has it, better than thorns or knotted cord. Many
a silent grief lying like lead within the heart, or
like cold ice upon the heart. Many a sad secret
which a man dare not tell, lest he should find no
sympathy ; many a laden conscience, laden be-
cause the owner of it has turned to Christ, and
which he would not have felt, had he kept from
Him. Many an apprehension for the future, which
cannot be spoken ; many a bereavement which
has robbed the world's gifts of their pleasant
savour, and leads the heart but to sigh at the sight
of them. No ; never while the Church lasts will
the words of old Jacob be reversed, " All things
here are against us ' " but God ; but if God be for
1 Gen. xlii. 36.


us, who can be really against us ? If He is in
the midst of us, how shall we be moved? If
Christ has died and risen again, what death can
come upon us, though we may be made to die
daily ? What sorrow, pain, humiliation, trial,
but must end as His has ended, in a continual
resurrection into His new world, and in a nearer
and nearer approach unto Him ? He pronounced
a blessing over His Apostles, and they have scat-
tered it far and wide over the earth unto this day.
It runs as follows : " My peace I give unto you ;
not as the world giveth, give I unto you '." " These
things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye
might have peace. In the world ye shall have
tribulation ; but be of good cheer, I have over-
come the world 2 ." NEWMAN.

3. God does not offer me health, long life,
plenty of worldly accommodations, respect, dis-
tinctions, principalities, universal empire ; but oh,
unutterable grace ! Himself. T. ADAM.


" When Jesus saw Mary weeping, and the Jews
also weeping which came with her, He groaned in
the spirit and was troubled 3 ." It is the very
nature of compassion or sympathy, as the word

1 John xiv. 27. 2 John xvi. 33. 3 John xi. 33.



implies, to "rejoice with those who rejoice, and
weep with those who weep l ." We know it is so
with men ; and God tells us He also is compas-
sionate and full of tender mercy. Yet we do not
know well what this means ; for how can God
rejoice or grieve ? By the very perfection of His
nature, Almighty God cannot show sympathy,
at least to the comprehension of beings of such
limited minds as ours. He, indeed, is hid from
us : but if we were allowed to see Him, how could
we discern, in the Eternal and Unchangeable,
signs of sympathy ? Words and works of sym-
pathy in another, affect and comfort the sufferer
more even than the fruits of it. Now, we cannot
see God's sympathy ; and the Son of God, though
feeling for us as great compassion as His Father,
did not show it for us, while He remained in His
Father's bosom. But when He took flesh, and
appeared on earth, He showed us the Godhead in
a new manifestation : He invested Himself with a
new set of attributes, those of our flesh ; taking
into Him a human soul and body, in order that
thoughts, feelings, and affections, might be His,
which could respond to ours, and certify to us His
tender mercy. When, then, our Saviour weeps
from sympathy with Mary's tears, let us not say
it is the love of a man overcome by natural feel-
ing ; it is the love of God, the bowels of compas-
sion of the Almighty and Eternal condescending

1 Rom. xii. 15.


to appear as we are capable of receiving it, in the
form of human nature. Jesus wept, therefore,
not merely from the deep thoughts of His under-
standing, but from spontaneous tenderness ; from
the gentleness and mercy, the encompassing lov-
ing-kindness, and exuberant fostering affection of
the Son of God for His own work, the race of man.
Their tears touched Him at once as their miseries
had brought Him down from heaven. His ear
was open to them, and the sound of weeping went
at once to His heart.

Let us take to ourselves these comfortable
thoughts both in the contemplation of our own
death, or upon the death of our friends. Wherever
faith in Christ is, there is Christ Himself. He
said to Martha, " Believest thou this 1 ?" Wherever
there is a heart to answer, " Lord, I believe, "
there Christ is present ; there our Lord vouch-
safes to stand, though unseen : whether over the
bed of death, or over the grave ; whether we our-
selves are sinking, or those who are dear to us.
Blessed be His name ! nothing can rob us of this
consolation: we will be as certain, through His
grace, that He is standing over us in love, as
though we saw Him. We will not, after our
experience of Lazarus's history, doubt an instant
that He is thoughtful about us. He knows the
beginnings of our illness, though He keeps at
1 John xi. 26.


a distance. He knows when to remain away, and
when to draw near. He notes down the advancing
of it, and the stages. He tells truly when His
friend Lazarus is sick, and when he sleeps. We
all have experience of this in the narrative before
us ; and henceforth, so be it ! will never complain
at the course of His Providence. Only, we will
beg of Him an increase of faith, a more lively per-
ception of the curse under which the world lies,
and of our own personal demerits ; a more under-
standing view of the mystery of His cross ; a more
devout and implicit reliance on the virtue of it,
and a more confident persuasion that He will never
put upon us more than we can bear, never afflict
His brethren with any woe, except for their own
highest benefit. NEWMAN.


Phil. iv. 5 7. "Let your moderation be
known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be
careful for nothing ; but in every thing by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your re-
quests be made known unto God. And the peace
of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep
your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Why does the Apostle counsel thus ? His ob-
ject is to produce moderation. The way to pro-
duce it, is to rid ourselves of anxiety. If I am not
anxious whether my cup be full, or whether it be


empty, I cannot be immoderate in my desires.
If I am letting my mind lie passive on the sea of
God's providential dispensations, then come storm,
come calm ; whatever it be, I am at rest, I am
tranquil, I am at anchor : my cable is faith, the
rock I am tied to is the will of my Father in
heaven. There is a blessed peace in this state of
holy acquiescence. It is the anxiety about so
many unimportant things that makes life so
troubled. It is the fixing our minds upon this
thing, or that thing, and determining with our-
selves that they are absolutely indispensable for
our happiness, that makes us so unhappy. We
jeopardy our peace, directly that we determine any
earthly thing to be indispensable for our welfare.
It is astonishing how many barks of happiness
are wrecked in this way : it is quite amazing how
many stately vessels of Christian hope, if not quite
wrecked, are stranded, or tossed and beaten about
among these quicksands of unrestrained desire.
" This thing," says one ; " give me but this thing,
or take from me but this sorrow, or lead me but
out of this one difficulty, or remove from me but
-this rival, and then my soul shall be at peace."
Unhappy they who thus imagine ! How contrary
is all this to the prayer we daily offer, "Thy will
be done ! " Beloved brethren, strive to think
every thing a blessing which God sends you,
every thing injurious which He denies you. Be


not anxious about earthly matters, whether they
be great or small ; and in the end you will find
every earthly thing too small to make you anxious.
Will the thought of the period of the second
Advent help the Christian man to moderation ?
The text tells us that it will. Why, then, and
how will it do it ? The answer is simple. One
great and filling thought will drive out all smaller
and more troubling anxieties. The expectation
of the Creator will calm and displace those vain
expectations, which we are constantly forming, of
the creature. If I am looking anxiously for
Christ's coming, I cannot look very anxiously for
the fulfilment of any earthly hopes. A full cup,
or a full purse, or marriage blessings, or a home
to rest my body in, or a friend's bosom for my
heart to repose on, or grandeur, or pomp, or
power, or place it is impossible that I should
inordinately crave any of these things if I am in
true earnestness looking for my Lord and Saviour.
They are many of them great blessings ; flowers
of innocent fragrance, planted along the path we
tread : but they are not necessary ; we can do with-
out them. And if the Lord be our hope, if we
are waiting for His coming, looking for it, longing
for it ; if the dawning of it seem to our glad hearts
already glimmering over the hills ; if the wonder-
ful march of mighty events be like the solemn,
but " beautiful feet " of our God upon " the



mountains ; " if we are thus " looking for and
hastening unto " that glorious appearing, how is it
possible that worldly cares should make us over-
anxious ? " Nay, my soul," so reasons such a
blessed expectant ; "nay, my soul, one thing alone
is needful ; trouble not thyself about this loss, or
that gain ; smile not too joyously, weep not too
sadly ; for smiles, and tears, and loss, and gain, shall
all be swallowed up in the glory, and forgotten in
the overwhelming presence of thy returning Lord."

But it is not by thoughts like these, however
good and great, that anxious care can be altogether
overcome. The Apostle gives us a further direc-
tion ; it is to pray : " In every thing by prayer
and supplication let your requests be made known
unto God."

Now it is the Spirit that teaches us to pray ;
it is the name of Christ that we plead, and by the
power of the Spirit that we are enabled accept-
ably to do so. But prayer links us to God:
it is a chain of glory reaching from earth to
heaven ; the wants of man pass like electricity up
its shining links, and heaven in all its power
and consolation descends upon them. This is the
reason why the Apostle counsels us to make our
requests known unto God ; he counsels this as the
way to peace, for the telling of our wants and our
sorrows to God, is the sure way to obtain consola-
tion and supply. The assurance of this fact is


built on the eternal truth of God's faithful cha-
racter ; ice cannot go to God in earnest seeking, icif fr-
ont success. " Ask, and ye shall have ; seek, and
ye shall find '," is the unalterable law of heaven.
" Casting all your care upon Him, for H> careth for
you V is the handwriting of an Apostle, and the
inspiration of the Holy Ghost. We do well to
take this blessed counsel, and hide it in our bosom.
We should put it away as a cure for heart's trou-
ble, as men put away some valuable recipe for
some dangerous disorder. In " every thing," re-

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