CALAMITIES-- Chance, Fate, Satan or
from Spurgeon's, "THE ROYAL DEATH BED"
"When disaster comes to a city, has not the
Lord caused it?"
HOW did this calamity (the sudden death of
the young king
of England by an unexpected illness) come about?
Shall we suppose it to be by CHANCE?
There are still some found foolish enough to believe that
events happen without divine predestination, and that
different calamities transpire without the overruling hand,
or the direct agency of God.
Alas! for you and for me, if CHANCE had
really done it.
Ah! what would we be if we were left to CHANCE!
We should be like poor mariners, put out to sea in an unsafe
vessel, without a chart and without a helm; we would know
nothing of the port to which we might ultimately come.
We should only feel that we were now the sport of the winds,
the captives of the tempest, and might soon be the victims
of the all-devouring deep.
Alas! poor orphans would we all be, if we were left to
No father's care to watch over us, but left to the fickleness
and fallibility of mortal things!
What would all that we see about us be, but a great sand storm
in the midst of a desert, blinding our eyes, preventing us from
ever hoping to see the end through the darkness of the beginning.
We would be travelers in a pathless waste, where there were no
roads to direct us -- travelers who might be overturned and
overwhelmed at any moment, and our bleached bones left the
victims of the tempest, unknown, or forgotten of all.
Thank God it is not so with us.
CHANCE exists only in the heart of fools!
We believe that everything which happens to us is ordered by
the wise and tender will of him who is our Father and our Friend.
We see order in the midst of confusion.
We see purposes accomplished where others discern fruitless wastes.
We believe that, "He has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
There is a difference between predestination and FATE--
FATE is blind, demented, brainless-- wandering about,
achieving wondrous things without a purpose, overturning
mountains, plucking up cedars by the roots, scattering
firebrands, hurling deaths about, but all without an end.
Such is FATE-- "It is because it must be."
"Events occur, because they shall be."
But predestination is a glorious thing!
With many eyes it looks to the interests of God and his creatures
too, and although it says the thing must be, yet it must be
because it is wise, and right, and just, and kind, that it should be.
And though we may think that it comes to the same in the end,
yet to our hearts the differences are as wide as the poles are
Do not believe not in 'fate', but believe in God.
Do not say it was the 'man's destiny', but say it is God's will.
Do not say a cruel and irresistible fate has snatched him away;
but say, a tender hand, finding that the due time was come,
has taken him from evil to come.
You have had some trial yesterday. "Put off your shoes
from your feet," for God is in that burning bush.
Men see nothing but the calamity;
the eyes of faith see God's hand.
Calamities do not come except God puts forth his hand--
that it is his will to remove men by death, and only by
his will could they die.
Perhaps SATAN may bring evils upon us;
perhaps 'he' may
drag down men to their graves; perhaps 'he' may cut the thread
of life; perhaps 'he' is the evil genius of the world, and the
keeper of the gates of death.
Brethren, we scout the thought at once from our minds.
Begone far hence, foul King of Errors! You are the prince
of the air, but you are not king of kings, nor are you now
the king of death-- the keys do not swing at your belt.
Not from your black lips can come the summons--
"Prepare to meet your doom."
Not with your foul fingers are we plucked from our houses,
not through your cruelty are we given up in a black day. Your
despotic and tyrannical mind has no power to lord it over us.
A thousand angels could not drag us to the grave; and you,
black spirit shall not be able to confine us there, when once
the trump of the archangel shall awaken us from our sleep.
Nay, SATAN has not done it.
Do not look on your troubles and trials, as coming from hell.
Satan may sometimes be the 'instrument' of your pains,
but still they come from God.
In the cup of our sorrows, there is not a
dreg which the Father did not put there.
Bitter as the compound may be,
the eternal hand of wisdom mixed the whole.
The rod may fall, but Satan does not wield it.
Like as a father "chastens his children,"
so the Lord chastens "those that fear him."
"When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?"
Blessed be God, we have no doubt about our answer
to this question.
When disaster comes to a city, the Lord has done it!