adapted from Octavius Winslow's "Morning Thoughts"
"There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."
The power of human sympathy is amazing,
if it leads the heart to Christ. It is paralyzed,
if it leads only to ourselves.
Oh, how feeble and inadequate are we to administer to
a diseased mind, to heal a broken heart, to strengthen
the feeble hand, and to confirm the trembling knees!
Our mute sympathy, our prayerful silence, is often the
best exponent of our affection, and the most effectual
expression of our aid.
But if, taking the object of our solicitude by the hand,
we gently lead him to God; if we conduct him to Jesus,
portraying to his view....
the depth of His love,
the perfection of His atoning work,
the sufficiency of His grace,
His readiness to pardon,
His power to save,
the exquisite sensibility of His nature, and thus His
perfect sympathy with every human sorrow; we have
then most truly and most effectually soothed the sorrow,
stanched the wound, and strengthened the hand in God.
Oh how sweet, how encouraging, to know....
that in all my afflictions He is afflicted;
that in all my temptations He is tempted;
that in all my assaults He is assailed;
that in all my joys He rejoices;
that He weeps when I weep;
that He sighs when I sigh;
that He suffers when I suffer;
that He rejoices when I rejoice.
May this truth endear Him to our souls!
May it constrain us to unveil our whole heart to Him,
in the fullest confidence of the closest, most sacred,
and precious friendship. May it urge us to do those
things always which are most pleasing in His sight.
Beloved, never forget; and let these words linger
upon your ear, as the echoes of music that never die;
in all your sorrows,
in all your trials,
in all your needs,
in all your assaults,
in all your conscious wanderings,
in death, and
at the day of judgment; you possess
a friend that sticks closer than a brother!
That friend is Jesus!