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patience, and for that you are to rely upon the
promise of God, and to secure thyself by prayer
and industry ; but in all things else let God be
thy chooser, and let it be thy work to submit
indifferently, and attend thy duty. Be impor-
tunate, that thy spirit and its interest be secured,
and let Him do what seemeth good in His eyes.
And as, in the degree of sickness, thou art to sub-
mit to God, so in the kind of it (supposing equal
degrees) thou art to be altogether incurious whe-
ther God will call thee by a consumption or an
asthma, by a dropsy or a palsy, by a fever in thy
humours, or a fever in thy spirits ; because all
such nicety of choice is nothing but a colour to a
legitimate impatience, and to make an excuse to
murmur privately, and for circumstances, when in
the sum of affairs we durst not own impatience.

Be patient in the desires of religion, and take
care that the forwardness of exterior actions do
not discompose thy spirit; while thou fearest
that, by less serving God in thy disability, thou
runnest backward in the accounts of pardon and
the favour of God. Be content that the time,
which was formerly spent in prayer, be now spent


in carefulness and attendances ; since God hath
pleased it should be so, it does not become us to
think hard thoughts concerning it. Do not think
that God is only to be found in a great prayer or
a solemn office ; He is moved by a sigh, by a
groan, by an act of love ; and therefore, when
your pain is great and pungent, lay all your
strength upon it to bear it patiently : when the
evil is somewhat more tolerable, let your mind
think some pious, though short meditation : let
it not be very busy, and full of attention, for that
will be but a new temptation to your patience,
and render your religion tedious and hateful. If
you can do more, do it ; but if you cannot, let it
not become a scruple to thee. We must not think
man is tied to the forms of health, or that he who
swoons and faints is obliged to his usual forms and
hours of prayer : if we cannot labour, yet let us
love ; nothing can hinder us from that but our
own uncharitableness.

Be obedient to thy physician in those things
that concern him, if he be a person fit to minister
unto thee. God is He only that needs no help,
and God hath created the physician for thine :
therefore use him temperately, without yiolent
confidence ; and sweetly, without uncivil distrust-
ings. Physicians are the ministers of God's mer-
cies and providence, in the matter of health and
ease, of restitution or death ; and when God shall


enable their judgments, and direct their counsels,
and prosper their medicines, they shall do thee
good, for which you must give God thanks, and
to the physician the honour of a blessed instru-
ment : but this cannot always be done.

Treat thy nurses and servants sweetly, and as
it becomes an obliged and necessitous person.
Remember that thou art very troublesome to
them ; that they trouble not thee willingly ; that
they strive to do thee ease and benefit ; that they
wish it, and sigh and pray for it, and are glad if
thou likest their attendance ; that whatsoever is
amiss is thy disease, and the uneasiness of thy
head or thy side, thy distemper or thy disaffec-
tions ; and it will be an unhandsome injustice to
be troublesome to them because thou art so to

Let not the smart of your sickness make you
to call violently for death ; you are not patient
unless you be content to live. God hath made
sufferance to be thy work : and do not impatiently
long for evening, lest at night thou findest the
reward of him that was weary of his work.


9. If I felt for the disorder and danger of my
soul, as I do for my body in pain and sickness,
I should look out every way for help ; be a thou-


sand times more anxious for its recovery than I
am ; submit to any method of cure, and say un-
feignedly to God, " Urc, feri, seca ;" that is,
" Burn, strike, cut." T. ADAM.


Let these be your thoughts, brethren, especially
in the spring season, when the whole face of nature
is so rich and beautiful. Once only in the year
does the world which we see show forth its hidden
powers, and in a manner manifest itself : then the
leaves come out, and the blossoms on the fruit-
trees and flowers, and the grass and corn spring
up. There is a sudden rush and burst outwardly
of that hidden life which God has lodged in the
material world. Well, that shows you, as by a
sample, what it can do at God's command, when
He gives the word. This earth, which now buds
forth in leaves and blossoms, will one day burst
forth into a new world of life and glory, in which
we shall see saints and angels dwelling. Who
would think, except from his experience of former
springs, all through his life, who would conceive
two or three months before that it was possible
that the face of nature, which then seemed so life-
less, should become so splendid and vain ? How
different is a tree, how different is a prospect,
when leaves are on it and off it ! How unlikely it


would seem, before the event, that the dry and
naked branches should suddenly be clothed with
what is so bright and refreshing ! Yet, in God's
good time, leaves come on the trees. The season
may delay, but come it will at last. So it is with
the coming of that Eternal Spring, for which all
Christians are waiting. Come it will, though it
delay ; yet though it tarry, let us wait for it, be-
cause it will surely come, it will not tarry. There-
fore we say day by day, " Thy kingdom come ;"
which means, Lord, show thyself, manifest
thyself; Thou that sittest between the cherubims
show thyself; stir up thy strength, and come and
help us. The earth that we see does not satisfy
us ; it is but a beginning ; it is but a promise of
something beyond it : even when it is gayest, with
all its blossoms on, and shows most touchingly
what lies hid in it, yet it is not enough. We
know much more lies hid in it than we see. A
world of saints and angels, a glorious world, the
palace of God, the mountain of the Lord of Hosts,
the heavenly Jerusalem, the throne of God and
Christ ; all these wonders, everlasting, all-precious,
mysterious, incomprehensible, lie hid in what we
see. What we see is the outward shell of an
eternal kingdom, and on that kingdom we fix the
eyes of our faith. Shine forth, O Lord, as when
on thy nativity thine angels visited the shepherds ;
let thy glory blossom forth as bloom and foliage ;


change with thy mighty power this visible world
into that diviner world, which as yet we see not ;
destroy what we see, that it may pass, and be trans-
formed into what we believe. Bright as is the
sun, and the sky, and the clouds ; green as are the
leaves and the fields ; sweet as is the singing of
the birds ; we know that they are not all, and we
will not take up with a part for the whole. They
proceed from a centre of love and goodness, which
is God Himself; but they are not His fulness;
they speak of heaven, but they are not heaven ;
they are but as stray beams and dim reflections of
His image ; they are but crumbs from His table.
We are looking for the coming of the day of God,
when all this outward world, fair though it be,
shall perish ; when the heavens shall be burnt,
and the earth melt away. We can bear the loss,
for we know it will be but the removing of a veil.
We know that to remove the world which is^een,
will be the manifestation of the world which is not
seen. We know that what we see is as a screen
hiding from us God and Christ, and His saints and
angels ; and we earnestly desire and pray for the
dissolution of all that we see, from our love and
longing after that which we do not see. O blessed
they indeed, who are destined for a sight of those
wonders in which they now stand, at which they
now look, but which they do not recognize !
Blessed they who shall at length behold what as


yet mortal eye hath not seen, and faith only en-
joys ! Those wonderful things of the new world
are even now as they shall be then. They are
immortal and eternal ; and they who shall then
be made conscious of them will see them in their
calmness and their majesty, where they ever have
been. But who can express the surprise and
rapture which will come upon those who then at
least apprehend them for the first time, and to
whose perceptions they are new ? Who can ima-
gine, by a stretch of fancy, the feelings of those
who having died in faith, wake up to enjoyment ?
The life then begun, we know, will last for ever ;
yet surely, if memory be to us then what it is
now, that will be a day much to be observed unto
the Lord, through all the ages of eternity. We
may increase, indeed, for ever in knowledge and
in love ; still that first awakening from the dead,
the day at once of our birth and our espousal, will
ever be endeared and hallowed in our thoughts.
When we find ourselves, after long rest, gifted
with fresh powers, vigorous with the seed of eter-
nal life within us, able to love God as we wish,
conscious that all trouble, sorrow, pain, anxiety,
and bereavement, is over for ever; blest in the
full affection of those earthly friends whom we
loved so poorly, and could protect so feebly, while
they were with us in the flesh ; and, above all,
visited with the immediate, visible, ineffable pre-


sence of God Almighty, with His only-begotten
Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and His co-equal, co-
eternal Spirit ; that great sight in which is the
fulness of joy and pleasure for evermore! What
deep incommunicable and unimaginable thoughts
will be then upon us ! What depths will be
stirred up within us ! What secret harmonies
awakened, of which human nature seemed inca-
pable ! Earthly words are indeed all worthless
to minister to such high anticipations. Let us
close our eyes, and keep silence.



The world is no help-meet for man, and a help-
meet he needs. No one, man or woman, can
stand alone ; we are so constituted by nature ;
and the world, instead of helping us, is an open
adversary : it but increases our solitariness.

Elijah cried, " I only am left, and they seek my
life to take it away V How did Almighty God
answer him ? By graciously telling him that He
had reserved to Himself a remnant of seven thou-
sand true believers. Such is the blessed truth
He brings home to us also ; we may be full of
sorrows ; there may be fightings without, and
fears within ; we may be exposed to the frowns,
censure, or contempt of men ; we may be shunned

1 1 Kings xix. 14.


by them, or to take the lightest case, we may be
(as we certainly shall be) wearied out, by the un-
profitableness of this world, by its coldness and
unfriendliness, distance and dreariness ; we shall
need something nearer to us. What is our re-
source ? It is not in arm of man, in flesh and
blood, in voice of friend, or in pleasant coun-
tenance ; it is that holy name which God has
given us in His Church ; it is in that everlasting
city in which He has fixed His abode ; it is that
mount invisible, where angels are looking at us
with their piercing eyes, and the voices of the
dead call us.


Leave, then, this earthly scene, virgin soul ;
aim at a higher prize, a nobler companionship.
Enter into the tabernacle of God. Satan may do
his worst ; he may afflict thee sore ; he may wound
thee, he may brand thee ; he may cripple thee as
regards this world, but he cannot touch thee in
things spiritual; he has no power over thee to
bring thee into God's displeasure. O virgin soul,
let this be thy stay in the dark day. When thou
art sick of the world, to whom shouldst thou go ?
To none short of Him who is the Heavenly Spouse
of every faithful soul.


Though thou art in a body of flesh, a member of
this world, thou hast but to kneel down reverently


in prayer, and thou art at once in the society of
saints and angels. Wherever thou art, thou canst,
by God's incomprehensible mercy, in a moment
bring thyself into the midst of God's holy Church
invisible, and receive secretly that aid, the very
thought of which is a present sensible blessing.
Art thou afflicted ? Thou canst pray. Art thou
merry ? Thou canst sing psalms. Art thou lonely,
does the day run heavily ? Fall on thy knees, and
thy thoughts are at once relieved by the idea and
the reality of thy unseen companions. Art thou
tempted to sin ? Think steadily of those who
perchance witness thy doings from God's secret
dwelling-place. Hast thou lost friends ? Realize
them by faith. Art thou slandered ? Thou hast
the praise of angels. Art thou under trial?
Thou hast their sympathy. NEWMAN.



In this chapter God points Himself out to us
as the Author of affliction. He makes no attempt
to conceal or disguise Himself ; on the contrary,
He rather forces Himself on our notice as the
source of His people's troubles. It was the Assy-
rian army that laid Israel waste ; it was the cruelty
of her enemies that desolated her country, and
carried her into a wretched captivity ; but not a
word is said in this chapter, of man or his vio-


lence ; the God of Israel seems determined to keep
all but Himself out of our sight. " I," He says,
" will take away my corn and my wine." " I will
destroy her vines and her fig-trees." " I will
cause all her mirth to cease." " I will visit
upon her the days of Baalim." " I will bring her
into the wilderness." Now, why this anxiety
in a God of love to stand thus forward as the
author of misery ; and misery, observe, among
people He loves the most? For two reasons.
First, because we are so backward in affliction to
discern His hand. We say, indeed, when it comes,
"It is the work of God;" but we do not half
believe what we say : we have no deep or lively
impression of its truth. There is often lurking
within us a conviction directly opposed to it :
else why that restless anxiety in trouble, to look so
closely into second causes ? Why are our minds
continually going over the circumstances that have
led to our calamities ? Why does one of us say,
" Had this been let alone, my buried friend might
have been spared." And another, " Had that
been done, my poor child might not have sunk."
And a third, " In any other situation, my withered
health might have stood firm."

There may be some truth in all this, but the
incessant dwelling of our minds on it shows how
we labour to push God out of our concerns ; how
unwilling our sinful hearts are in all situations to
acknowledge or even perceive His hand.


But He lias another reason for ascribing to
Himself our trials. We can get no good out of
affliction, no real comfort under it, till we view it
as sent to us from Him. The man of the world
regards affliction as " coming forth of the dust,"
and trouble as " springing out of the ground."
It is the necessary result, he conceives, of our pre-
sent condition and circumstances ; and where is the
benefit that he derives from sorrow ? It works in
him no submission, it brings out of him no praise.
It is when the mind discovers God at the very
root of its suffering ; when it sees Him desolating
its comforts, and robbing it of its joys with His
own hand ; when every grave seems dug by Him,
and every loss and every pang are felt to be His
work ; when it cannot banish Him from its thoughts,
nor disconnect with Him one of its griefs, nor even
wish to do either ; it is then that the soul begins
to bethink itself, and the heart to soften, and
man's proud, rebellious, stubborn spirit to give
way. Then the knee bends, and the prayer goes
up, and the blessing comes down. Then, for the
first time, we are quieted and subdued. " I was
dumb," said David, " and opened not my mouth :
because Thou didst it '." "It is the Lord," said
Eli; and then that poor old parent could add,
" Let Him do what seemeth Him good. 2 ." And
this conviction will carry us yet farther. Only
1 Ps. xxxix. 9. 2 1 Sam. iii. 18.


let a man once see that a Father's hand has
mingled his cup of bitterness, and he will soon do
more than say, "Shall I not drink it 1 ?" His
heart may be half breaking, but there is some-
thing within that heart, which, ere he is aware,
will force his lips to praise. "The Lord gave,"
said Job, " and the Lord hath taken away ;" and
then comes this noble, but yet natural exclamation,
" Blessed be the name of the Lord V



John xvii. 24. " Father, I will that they also,
whom thou hast given me, be with me where I
am, that they may behold my glory."

Mark where the presence of Christ is to be
enjoyed. He prays 'that we may be with Him,
" where He is." Now in the Spirit, He is every
where. He is God, and as God He fills all space
with His existence: He must speak therefore,
here, of that world wherein He manifests His pre-
sence, where He dwells in the body, where He
even now lives and reigns as the glorified Son of
Man. And this is to bo not only with the most
glorious Being in the universe, but with Him in
the most^ glorious place; in the place which He
sails His own kingdom, His own city, His own

1 John xviii. 11. J Job i. 21.


house ; a world which He has built to show forth
His power, to declare His greatness by its magni-
ficence as gloriously as any material thing can
declare it ; so gloriously, that when we see it, we
shall deem it almost worthy to be His dwelling.
To be with Him there, is to be with Him in a
world from which all sorrow and sin are excluded,
where not a single unholy feeling is ever expe-
rienced, nor a single tear shed, nor sigh breathed ;
where the weary soul may rest, and the troubled
soul be quiet, and the tempted soul repose, and
the fettered soul be free. It is to be with Him
not alone, but with the highest and best society
the universe can afford ; with cherubim and sera-
phim, with the patriarchs and fathers, with apo-
stles, and prophets, and martyrs. It is to meet
again in His blissful presence the companions of
our youth ; the parents, and children, and friends,
whom death has separated from us, or distance
severed, or infirmity estranged ; and to meet them
where death can touch them no more, where dis-
tance can never intervene, nor passions disturb.
In a word, it is to be where the Lord Christ Him-
self delights to be ; where He finds the materials
of joy for His own wonderful soul. It is to see
His face in its brightness, to hear His voice in His
happiness, to sit down at His glorified feet. It is
for the abased members of the body to be united
to the triumphant Head : it is to meet the Bride-
L 2


groom in all the radiance and joy of the bridal
morning ; it is to be with the incarnate Jehovah
in Jehovah's own everlasting heavens.

With such a prospect before us, shall we not
say one to another, Let us lift up our heads with
joy amidst the troubles of an evil world ? We are
to sojourn in Mesech but a little longer ; we are
soon to take our leave for ever of the tents of
Kedar ; we are already within the distant rays of
that glory which is our sure inheritance ; and can
the light afflictions of the present time have more
power to depress, than that " far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory ' " has to elevate and
gladden us ? Oh, no ! Our concern shall be to
feel and act like men who are going to a happy
and holy Saviour, in a holy and happy world.
We will labour to have "our conversation in
heaven *;" to catch something of its spirit before
we enter into its joy.


10. The experience and possession of divine
pity is better than bodily ease, freedom from trou-
ble, or the greatest worldly prosperity.


1 2 Cor. iv. 17. 2 Phil. iii. 20.



Preparation for higher degrees of glory is like-
wise wrought by the grace of God, through the
agency of suffering, and should much reconcile us
to the cup. Grace in our hearts is indeed created,
planted, and watered, by the hand and Spirit of
the living God ; but it is also strengthened to per-
fection under His power, by the exercise of afflic-
tion. Doubt not but that the highest who will
ascend to glory above, will be found to be among
those who not only have washed their hearts in
the Redeemer's blood, (this is the title to all
salvation,) but who also have been tried in the
refining fires of affliction more severely than others.
Affliction is a school, under the blessing of God,
to ripen us for an exceeding and eternal weight ot
glory ; and vain as is the common imagination, that
those who are tried here are saved from all sorrow
hereafter, be they united to Christ or not ; it is yet
a true doctrine, that as there are degrees of glory,
so the most severely afflicted ones, who are also
believers in Jesus, will shine the brightest in that
glory ; not so much because of their suffering, as
of the grace wrought to purification in their souls
by the Spirit of God, through the agency of suf

Take courage, therefore, any amongst you, be-
loved, who are the sons and daughters of tribula-


tion ; if united to Jesus by a living faith, you are
training, through your very afflictions, for superior
glory. The clouds that now darken your horizon
will soon disappear before the brightness of the
sun, and your spirit of heaviness shall be ex-
changed for the garments of joy. Be resting on
Jesus for all your strength, hope, and deliverance.
Believe in Him as your pattern, as well as your
support in every tribulation. Ask of Him in
every fresh trial, and under every circumstance of
the trial, Lord, how wouldest Thou have me to act?
What wouldest Thou have me to do? Beg of
Him increasing submission, and thankfulness of
spirit. Endeavour to obtain that transcendency
of faith which sustains the soul above the depres-
sion of this low world, and the wearying contem-
plation of pain, sorrow, fear, sin, and death ; and
strive to raise your senses and affections to things
above, where your compassionate Saviour dwells,
and whence He will soon return to gather you up
with Him to His throne, that you may behold His
glory. Seek of Him the Holy Spirit to intercede
within you, and to unite your heart to God's heart.
He is a counsellor and comforter from Christ to
His distressed ones. He is a guide to lead you
into all truth, to reveal to you the whole will of
your Heavenly Father, and to work mightily the
power of God in your HOU! ; quickening you from
sin to holiness, and raising you up to all heavenly
blessings with Christ.

ANON. 151

And suffer not the wicked one to tempt you
with doubts, fears, unbelief ; these evils come from
beneath ; from above is faith, joy, and hope through
the power of the Holy Ghost. Be assured, if in-
deed you are Christ's flock, that all shall be well
with you ; for " all things shall work together for
good to them that love God ' ;" and " He who has
showed you great and sore troubles shall quicken
you again, and bring you up again from the depths
of the earth ; He shall increase your greatness,
and comfort you on every side 2 ." Meanwhile,
" Fear thou not, for I am with thee," saith the
Lord; "be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I
will strengthen thee, yea I will help thee, yea
I will uphold thee with the right hand of my
righteousness 3 ." P. W. DOUGLAS.


" For ye have need of patience, that after ye
have done the will of God, ye might receive the
promise 4 ."

Such is the lesson which the Holy Spirit con-
veys to the suffering members of Christ's body,
through one whose first admission to the Christian
faith was marked by this testimony of the Lord
Himself: " I will show him how great things he
must suffer for my name's sake V And as we fol-

1 Rom. viii. 28. 2 Ps. Ixxi. 20, 21. 3 Isa. xli. 10.

Heb. x. 36. * Acts ix. 16.

152 ANON.

low the course of this great Apostle, we find that
he was ever conformed to the pattern of his Mas-
ter, the " Man of sorrows V Whatever he was
ignorant of in the future, this one truth was deeply
settled in his soul : " The Holy Ghost witnesseth
in every city, that bonds and afflictions abide me V
He had counted the cost, and was contented to
win Christ, while he suffered the loss of all things ;
and to such a high degree was the strength of his
Lord perfected in his weakness, that he could even
"glory in tribulation 3 ;" he could welcome and
embrace it as a precious gift from heaven, a dis-
tinguishing mark of Christ's favour, to be counted

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