by John Macduff
Affliction has always been God's peculiar
method of dealing with His own people.
It is because He loves them He chastises
them. 'I have chosen you,' says He, 'in the
furnace of affliction.'
Was it not needed?
Has not the world been becoming too much to
you; engrossing your affections, alienating your
love, dimming your view of 'the better country'?
Ah! commune with your own heart, and say, was
not this affliction (terrible though it be) the very
Less would not have done to wean you from
the poor nothings of earth. You were lulled in
a guilty self security. You were living in a state
of awful forgetfulness of God, insensible of
His mercies, unmindful of His goodness, taking
your blessings as matters of course; a secret
Dear Reader! if this is a truthful picture of your heart,
I ask you; was it not kindness, unspeakable kindness
in your covenant God to break though with a voice of
thunder, your perilous dream? to bring back your
truant, wandering, treacherous heart, and fix
once more your traitor affections on Himself as
their only satisfying portion?
"Your Heavenly Father never thought this world's
painted glory a gift worthy of you, and therefore
He has taken out the best thing it had in your sight,
that He might Himself fill the heart He had wounded
with Himself." (Evans).
The threads of life were weaved into too bright
a cord; God had to snap them. The loved one
you are now mourning was a clay idol.
He had to break it in pieces.
He had to drag it from the usurped throne
that He might resume that throne Himself.
He gave you prosperity but you could not or would
not use it for His glory. It was a curse to you!
He would not allow you to be left alone, to settle
in the downy nest of self ease and forgetfulness.
He has roused you on the wing, and pointed your
upward soarings to their only true resting place,
in His own everlasting presence, and friendship,
Your wayward heart was throwing out its tendrils
on every side and rooting them down to earth. He
had to unroot them; to wrench these groveling
affections from the things that are of 'earth, earthy,'
and fasten them on Himself as their all in all.
Child of God! there is not one drop of wrath in
the bitter cup you are now drinking. He took all
that was bitter out of it, and left it a cup of love!
Seek to exercise simple faith in the wisdom of
God's dealings, the unswerving rectitude of His
dispensations. He does all well. Nothing can
come wrong to you, that comes from His hand.
He has dealt tenderly, wisely and lovingly, with you.
Confide where you can not understand.
Trust where you can not trace.
Repress all guilty murmurings.
Check all rebellious thoughts.
The Refiner of silver sits by the furnace of His
own lighting, tempering its heat; regulating
the fury of the flames; quenching the violence
of the fires; designing all, ALL not to consume
and destroy; but to purify, brighten, refine!
Glorify God in the fires.
Think often of heaven! Every day is bringing
you nearer that home of joy! Nearer to Him
who is now standing with the hoarded treasures
of eternity in His hand, and the hoarded love
of eternity in His heart!
How will one brief moment there, banish in
everlasting oblivion, all the pangs and sorrows
of this present valley of weeping!
Soon the last ripple of sorrow will be heard
murmuring on the other side of Jordan, and then
every vestige of its sound will die away, and
that forever! Entering the triumphal arch of Heaven,
you will read in living characters the history of a
sinless, sorrowless future: "And God shall wipe
away all tears from their eye; and there shall be
no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither
shall there be any more pain; for the former things
are passed away." Rev. 21:4.