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whensoever by any manner of adversity it shall please His gracious goodness to visit
And there should be no greater comfort to Christian persons than to be made like unto Christ, by suffering patiently adversities, 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 crucified.
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.
HEAR what the pious Psalmist sung ; "I am like a broken vessel. But I trusted in Thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand; make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; save me for Thy mercies' sake.”—(xxxi.) And again, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplication. The sorrows of death compassed me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous : yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple; I was brought low, and He helped me. Return to Thy rest, O my soul; the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling."-(cxvi.) And further,—“Will the Lord cast me off for ever? and will He be favourable no
more? Is His mercy entirely gone for ever? Doth His promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath He in anger shut up Histender mercies? And I said, This is my infirmity : but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”—(lxxvii.) Listen, again, to the prophet SAMUEL,—“It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth good in His eyes.”—(1 Sam. ii. 18.)
And the Apostle Paul says, There was given unto me a thorn in the flesh to buf.
For this thing, I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me; and He said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness: most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor. xii.
Give heed, above all, afflicted one, to the words of Jesus himself-“ Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and
one of them shall not fall on the ground, without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” “Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”—John xi. 25, 26. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”—Luke xii. 32.*
* I have noted the following, as some of the passages which will be likely to afford comfort and strength :-Exod. xxiii. 25; Deut. xxxi. 8; Joshua i. 9; Psalm xxv. 16–18; xxvii. 1, 5, 7– 9, 13, 14 ; xxviii. 7 ; xxx. 5 ; xxxiv. 18 ; xli. 3 ; xlii. 5; xlvi. 1, 2, 3; lv. 22; lxix. 29; lxxxvi. 3-7; xci.; cxvi. 12–14; cxix. 75,76; cxxx. 25; cxxxviii. 7 ; cxxxix. 23, 24; Prov. iii. 12 ; Isaiah xii. 2 ; xxxv. 3, 4, 10; xliii. 1-3; Matt.
ix. 18, 19, 23-26; Luke vii. 11, 15; John xi. 1-45;xii. 24-32; xiv.; xvi.; xvii.; xviii. 1-11; Ep. to Romans, ii. 6-11; v. 3, 5, 8; viii. 18, 28; xiv. 7-9; 2nd Cor. i. 3—5; iv. 8, 18; Ephes. ï. 12—21; Col. iii. 2 ; Heb. x. 36; xi. 13, 16; xii. 5--11; 1 Pet. i. 3; Rev. ii. 19.