« EelmineJätka »
acquiescing in the appointments of his wisdom without complaining, happy in itself without inquietude; beautifully expressed by the words “possessing our souls in patience;" without a murmur, submitting to the will of our heavenly Father, with the affectionate docility of children, knowing that he doeth all things well, and for our ultimate good. Assured that times, seasons, events are in his power and ordination, we shall refer with perfect confiding love every thing to him who has promised to bring his reward with him in his own good time, and is unweariedly mindful of those who trust in him. With these principles animating our hearts, and regulating our lives, we shall daily think less and less of its troubles and its trials; we shall weigh them against eternity, we shall thankfully consider them as the appointed means of our spiritual improvement; this will give them in our estimation a dignity and excellence which will render them not only tolerable, but even acceptable, by exalting our minds, subserving our highest interests, and shedding a fructifying influence on our moral
being, constraining us, through the principle of love, to employ each day of life in preparation for that solemn hour when eternity shall begin.
Oh, what are the cares, the troubles, the pleasures of this evanescent world, when opposed to the never-dying joys of the world to succeed ? Surely it is not here that we are to look for succour in the hour of trial, for consolation in affliction, for inward substantial and permanent satisfaction! These are not of earth, but the world may be made, through divine grace, the pathway to this blessedness. Let us not then“ seek for the living among the dead,” but contemplate death as the beginning of life, the era of new hopes, and the portal to exalted happiness; while under divine guidance, we sedulously endeavour to improve the present short span of existence. . Short as it is, every day, every moment is fraught with importance, when we consider its possible effects:
Eternity depending on an hour Makes serious thought man's wisdom, joy, and
Every day gives in its own account; and happy are they who are found consecrating it to God, and living as he would have his children, employed to his glory, submitting to his will, and working out their own salvation with filial fear and trembling awe, trusting alone in the one great oblation and satisfaction. Stationed on this rock, having the eternal God as our refuge, and underneath us his everlasting arms, what cause have we for entire submission, for we may regard with perfect tranquillity whatever can happen to us! The certainty that there is a great, a powerful, and compassionate God, that the government of all things is in his hands, that we are sustained by his power, that nothing can affect us, but, by his permission, and that we are dear in his paternal sight is, must be, the great anchor of our souls, which will preserve them sure and steadfast when the billows of trouble are most threatening, or the winds of affliction most turbulent.
That holy confidence which has for its basis the divine government, is alone adequate to meet the trials and struggles of life.
built upon a rock which no tempests can shake! Its foundations are eternal and immoveable! Its prospects are certain and immortal!
Oh, what comfort there is in the thought of being in the hands and at the disposal of a just and merciful Creator, who judgeth righteously and punisheth mercifully, and both equally for the good of his creatures !
Trials, calamities, bereavements, are the evidences of his care and loving kindness. It is no part of his paternal discipline to strike, but when he means to prove our faith, to correct our failings, to purify our natures, and to perfect our virtues. Shall we not, then, bow with much submission to the chastisement which has such merciful objects in view? Shall not these sufferings, or afflictions of a moment, be cheerfully borne, if (being sanctified) they serve to render us more worthy of that eternal weight of glory reserved for us in the world to come. Blessed and most encouraging is the promise, “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.'
(Rev. xxi. 7.) Of course it is not meant to imply that we can of ourselves ever be rendered worthy, but as evidences of our faith, our works are graciously accepted.
We know that the measure of affliction and the duration of suffering are in the hands of this unerring and all-holy God, and that he will give us strength for the day, if we ask of him. With this conviction, and acting in its spirit, we shall, under every circumstance, find solid comfort; or as the pious and excellent Baxter most forcibly expresses the truth : “ Thou sayest thy comfort is all in Christ, but I must tell thee it is a Christ remembered and loved, and not a Christ forgotten, or only talked of, that will solidly comfort.” Now do we not forget our suffering Redeemer, when we faint under afflictions, or murmur at the chastisements of mercy ?
Has not our divine Lord with majestic simplicity and boundless tenderness said, “ Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me?" Do not these words make Jesus equally the object of our faith, and hope, and confidence, as the ever